Ferm Living children's kitchen

"Leave kids out of your weird, politically correct agenda"

In this week's comments update, readers are confused by Ferm Living's decision to market its minimalist toy kitchen as "gender neutral."

Child's play: readers are debating whether Danish brand Ferm Living was right to label its wood-coloured Toro Play Kitchen.

"I may have missed the point here. 'Gender neutral' because it isn't the biased pink colour?" asked Natache Lilonga.

Miles Teg went on: "All kitchens are 'gender neutral'. Leave kids out of your weird politically correct agenda."

"It might be easier for a boy to ask for a play kitchen if it's not pinky and girly," responded Pierre, defending Ferm Living. "And hopefully with baby steps like this, colour association with gender will disappear."

"I think it's a great looking kid's kitchen," added TKO. "Amazingly well done and beautiful – an alternative to all those sad, pink and bulbous monstrosities that exist already!"

One reader questioned the brand's model of choice:

Was it necessary to call the play kitchen gender neutral? Join the discussion ›

Överallt furniture and homeware by IKEA and Design Indaba

African dream: IKEA launched Överallt, a collection of homeware by designers from across Africa, at the Design Indaba conference in Cape Town last week. Commenters can't get enough.

"I want everything in this collection," said Yethica enthusiastically.

Three Floating Orbs was equally delighted: "There’s been lots of cottage industry type stuff coming out of the African continent for some years now, but this is scalable to a real global marketplace. Superb move by IKEA."

"Great mix of the traditional IKEA aesthetic with African sensibilities," agreed TKO.

Marc Sicard concluded: "This is excellent work, well done y'all."

There was one query raised though:

Are you a fan of the Överallt collection? Join the discussion ›

Dong-Ping Wong and Virgil Abloh at Design Indaba

15 minutes of fame: Design Indaba also saw architect Dong-Ping Wong and fashion designer Virgil Abloh produce a sketch design for a city in just 15 minutes, live in front of 3,000 people. Not everyone is impressed though. 

"Almost everybody can design such 'cities' in 15 seconds!" commented Malgorzata Boguslaw.

Jb replied: "It's a doodle, not a city."

"Everyone involved should be embarrassed." added HeywoodFloyd. "I know I am."

"Wow, imagine what they'll do when they grow up," responded Rob Swain sarcastically.

This reader felt Virgil Abloh's profession was inaccurately described:

Is it possible to thoughtfully draw a city in 15 minutes? Join the discussion ›

Chapel of Sound by Open Architecture

Stop the rock: a Beijing concert hall planned by Open Architecture and designed to look "as if a strange and prehistoric boulder had fallen there long ago", is causing controversy.

"This is beyond wonderful," said Jacob Volanski, on one hand.

Patrick Kennedy agreed: "Spectacular. The imagination. And probably great acoustics. I want to sit in the audience and applaud."

"Trying to hate this but I can't," continued HeywoodFloyd. "But then I tried to like it and I could't do that either."

Jon seemed quite sure of his opinion: "Cheesy McCheeseface. It would have been one thing to excavate or alter an existing landform, but to make fake rocks is something straight out of a theme park or Flintstones film set."

He wasn't alone in his thoughts:

Would you give the concert hall a round of applause? Join the discussion ›