Dezeen Magazine

"This is closer to pollution than art"

A floating sculpture made from thousands of colourful barrels, by artist Christo, sparked a debate over public artworks in this week's comments update.

Barrel of laughs: readers debated if Christo's London Mastaba, a 20-metre-high sculpture floating on London's Serpentine Lake, was more of an exercise of the artist's ego, rather than a worthwhile example of free public art.

"This is closer to pollution than art to me. I can only imagine what the carbon footprint was to manufacture and install this monstrosity just to impose his ego on the landscape," agreed Jonathan Duran

"So you take empty recycled barrels, paint them, and when you are done, you take them apart and reuse them – what's the carbon footprint? Way too touchy for a fun artwork," shrugged John, who had no problem with the project.

"They build a gigantic eyesore where you literally cannot avoid seeing it and proclaim it "free to look at". My question is how much to not have to see it?" asked JeffSmith cheekily.

"Yeah, it's free to look at, because no sane person would pay money to look at some stacked painted barrels. Calling this art is an insult to real artwork and artists," added an angry Jeckel.

Other readers praised the work with Jartin saying: "I think it is mind-blowing. Bravo."

This reader summed up his thoughts on the project with a risqué pun.

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Morpheus hotel by Zaha Hadid Architects, photo by Ivan Dupont

Twisted: there was a strong reaction to Zaha Hadid Architects' twisting geometric Morpheus hotel in Macau, with some questioning the direction of the firm.

"Poor Zaha. The company under Schumacher has become depressingly self-referential. Is an original design still original if it's going to be repeated again, and again, and again?" pondered Luca.

"You can copy it as much as you want and put it anywhere in the world. This doesn't 'belong' anywhere. Certainly doesn't belong into architecture," stated Miles Teg

She Grabs the Curtain was certainly not a fan of the hotel's appearance: "Worst building of the year. An ugly combination of blobitecture and out-dated futuristic Dubai/Astana blue glass architecture."

"If you listen closely you can hear the parametric structural wallpaper screaming in protest," chuckled HeywoodFloyd.

Kevin Adkisson had a different design gripe: "As much as I hate to rip on something so dramatic with something so prosaic, these windows are going to be filthy and very difficult to clean."

This reader suggested that the firm's design for the hotel had been influenced by the desire to stand out on social media.

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Daniel Quasar redesigns LGBT Pride flag

Waving flags: readers debated if there was any need for graphic designer Daniel Quasar to redesign the LGBT flag in an effort to make it more inclusive.

"Why don't we just hang a Dulux colour chart from a flagpole instead?" joked Sam.

"How about stopping the endless variations being added to the 'gay' flag? Instead of trying to add everyone who's different to it just call it something simple – or just ditch it," agreed a more serious Chris.

"Take a look at the EU flag for example. Its twelve stars symbolise unity and not the number of nations as the EU is constantly growing," added Zea Newland. "That's what the original rainbow flag does, too. Its colours don't represent specific identities or sexualities but aspects of a good life."

"I don't think I would want there to be a flag announcing what I do with my genitals," worried Hugo.

"If you think Pride refers to the interaction of genitals, you have a lot of studying to do," sighed Ronaldo Bello.

David had a philosophical approach to the subject: "The very function of flags is exclusion."

But one commenter took it even further.

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Twice burned: Commenters expressed their remorse over the fire that ravaged the Glasgow School of Art for a second time in four years, with some questioning whether if it should be rebuilt again.

"Just a few days ago I've seen how beautifully they restored it, and now it's gone again. This is tragic," wrote a sad Zea Newland.

"I do not know how to express my devastation. Hope the building may survive in one way or the other, preferably in the real form," commented Dragon optimistically.

Neko Ni Koban disagreed: "There is no way the building can survive that the second time. I fear demolition will be the only option."

"To lose Mackintosh's Art School once might be considered unfortunate. To lose it a second time looks like more than carelessness," underlined an angry Sir John V.

Kay kept his thoughts succinct.

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