"They are compensating for something"

A near-complete bullet-shaped skyscraper by Kohn Pedersen Fox in Shenzhen generated a debate between readers over phallic architecture in this week's comments update.

Building envy: commenters discussed why architects opt for phallic-shaped architecture such as KPF's 400-metre supertall skyscraper in China, and whether it should matter to those within the industry.

"They are so compensating for something," quipped Mario Guzman.

"For a lack of bullets?" joked Just Chiming In.

"What is this thing with these comments? All from men. Grow up will you," cringed Marmite.

"Kind of weird that the only thing you can imagine when seeing a tall building is a penis. Is that something missing in your life?" wondered a nonplussed Thomas.

"Height and girth do not make up for the architecture of human scale made from the best of traditional materials with a nod to golden ratio proportions. I don't see penises, I see blatant ego and power, that’s all," fired back Jackie Pruskin.

Mind for Design applauded the architects for executing their vision: "It's not every day that you see a building this cool looking; I mean, it really does look like a bullet!"

But for one reader, all they saw was a missed opportunity.

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The XI by BIG

Turn it up to eleven: readers did not hold back when commenting on new renderings of BIG's The XI development in New York, and Bjarke Ingels' description of the two towers that will "dance" with each other.

"I also like to use the rotate tool on SketchUp on cubes, and tell cute little stories about them. They dance, do Kung-Fu, have tea parties" mocked Miles Teg.

The Huey was impressed by Ingels' ability to convince: "His words always outdo his design. Just pay him to talk."

"I guess the BIG guy knows what's up in that laymen are thoroughly impressed by 'zany concepts' like dancing buildings and buy them," scoffed JMFM

"What's wrong with designing elegant, well-mannered architecture, that will still look good in 50 years? We don't need gimmicks like this," groaned Paul Edwards.

Steve Hassler was happy to defend the project: "This is a great concept. The pair really work well together. Good for BIG."

One reader seemed able to tap into Ingels' vision.

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Diller Scofidio + Renfro partners

50/50: architect Elizabeth Diller responded to her inclusion on this year's Time 100 list by voicing concerns about the success of female students in the industry, which led to a heated debate about gender parity.

"The fact that most architects are male does not and should not imply that there is any 'domination' by them in the field. No one would say that nursing is female-dominated and that it must be countered by hiring more males," commented a forthright Sergpie.

"I'm all for being inclusive, but not for the sake of good work. The best person for the job should always be hired," agreed Enormous Atom.

"The replies here. Wow. You'd think design would be the vanguard of progressive values, but you'd be wrong," wrote Tyrannosaurus Rek, clearly shocked by comments thread.

"A number of the responses here seem nothing more than the cries of fragile male egos. Who's to say how many times they've been turned away by females. Their responses here suggest, many many times," fired back a defiant Hellfire.

One reader seemed past despair by the direction of the responses to Diller's argument.

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SPÄNST by Ikea and Chris Stamp

Failed trick: Readers were less than impressed by IKEA's first foray into the skateboarding industry as part of their SoCal-inspired Spänst furniture and clothing collection this week.

"This designer is a liar if he claims to have any connection to skate culture and is willing to put his name on that Walmart-grade trash," fumed Rob.

"Maybe it's not a real skateboard but something to put plants on," teased Marmite.

Dm10003 felt the Swedish brand were off target: "I feel no SoCal youth vibe. SoCal is about colour as well. This is more like Vancouver imitating Brooklyn for a London goth convention."

"First there is fast furniture, then fast fashion, what next? Fast housing? The landfills must be getting crowded," sighed Sun Gang.

One reader was the second to spot a missed opportunity this week.

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