Laila Laurel manspreading chair

"The hypocrisy is astonishing"

In this week's comments update, readers are debating whether a chair designed to prevent "manspreading" provokes healthy discussion or encourages gender discrimination.

Ballsy move: Brighton University graduate Laila Laurel has caused uproar with her design for a tongue-in-cheek chair that aims to offer a solution to "manspreading".

"How about we have an anti-womanspreading chair," suggested Dave. "One that makes it impossible for women to put their handbags on the empty seat next to them?"

Jon continued: "In order to combat the sexist issues faced by women, the designer has created a chair that directly discriminates against men by making it inherently uncomfortable? The hypocrisy is astonishing."

"The first to comment here about how ridiculous, un-feminist, anti-men this chair is are the same who cry about not being able to say anything anymore and about women not getting jokes," replied Justine. "And you don’t even have to deal with the wave of, 'it’s just a joke! Calm down woman'."

St. Ar agreed: "This is hilarious and totally nailed its purpose. To the guys being super upset: the aim of this design was to offend you. What, don't you have any sense of humour? :)"

This reader was open-minded:

Do you think Laurel's chair is hypocritical? Join the discussion ›


Sub-zero: readers are mocking a proposal to use a submarine-like vessel to re-freeze sea water in the Arctic creating miniature modular icebergs to combat climate change.

"They don't teach Conservation of Energy in school anymore?" joked Jason Wilkes.

"Don't know if you ever felt the back of a fridge, but it's warm," added Dirk Vinkx. "Do they have a solution for that problem? Or are the just going to dump all that heat in the atmosphere potentially worsening the problem?"

Paul Simon replied: "I was thinking that it could have a positive effect simply because ice reflects more sunlight away from the earth. But the efficiency would probably have to be very high, and the operation would have to be absolutely gigantic to offset the melting it would cause."

"Looking for investors who have no understanding of thermodynamics," concluded CML.

This reader isn't convinced there is an issue to fix:

Can you see the benefits of re-freezing sea water? Join the discussion ›


Student protest: commenters are divided over a proposal by graduate James Parkes for a tower in Brixton where disadvantaged women who are "burdened by the effects of capitalism" can create art after being released from prison.

"It's not enough to throw in a 'resist' here and there in your renderings," said Simple Beep. "It feels hollow and out of touch. Taking an office block and making some arbitrary 'cuts and trims' isn't the right approach for creating a space that promotes equity and empowers disadvantaged women."

"When working on this project, did the designer work with real female inmates to achieve this outcome?" asked Michael Wigle. "Is a phallic tower the best place to confine formerly incarcerated women?"

James responded: "Did he have access to inmates? Doubtful. Did he work hard? Probably. Is a tower a good place for women? Why not? Or would you rather he designed a vagina-shaped building?"

Clarke Rudick was more complimentary: "Beautiful renderings to accompany a very thoughtful concept. I especially love how this building creates dedicated space to foster protest – a vital component of any healthy democracy."

This reader was also positive:

What do you think of the idea? Join the discussion ›


Lipton Thayer Brick House in Chicago, Illinois by Brooks Scarpa

Plot twist: Brooks + Scarpa and Studio Dwell have created a suburban Chicago home with an inner courtyard screened from the road with "vertical twisting columns" of brick, but readers aren't convinced.

"I give it ten out of ten for modernist bloody mindedness, and zero for neighbourhood respect," said Jb.

Steve H agreed: "I like it but bet a lot of neighbours hate it. I think the entire mass could have been moved back on the lot and then the 'in your face' moment might not be as banal a modernist statement."

"I like the brickwork and the interiors," added Leo. "From the street it looks too much like a prison for my liking though."

Aaron Albinder was more forgiving: "Beautiful project, but can't help but feel it's a little out of context."

This commenter suggested building elsewhere:

Do you think the home will upset the neighbours? Join the discussion ›