Dezeen Magazine

Apartment Block by Coffey Architects

This week, the Don't Move, Improve! 2020 shortlist was announced

This week on Dezeen, London's best new home extensions and renovations were revealed in the shortlist for this year's Don't Move, Improve! competition.

There are 25 home-improvement projects in the running to win Don't Move, Improve! 2020 – the 10th edition of the annual awards programme that celebrates residential design in the UK capital.

Projects range from a small experimental extension made of brick to a renovated apartment lined by 30,000 intricately joined wooden blocks.

Alongside the overall winner, entrants compete for six specific awards including the Environmental Leadership Prize and Compact Design of the Year.

Prefabricated Yō no le home by Muji
Muji launches prefabricated home to encourage indoor-outdoor living

In other architecture news, singer Akon announced his plans to build Akon City – a city in Senegal that will rely on his own cryptocurrency called the Akoin.

Minimalism took centre stage as Dezeen reported on John Pawson's self-designed rural retreat in the Cotswolds as well as Muji's latest prefabricated home called Yō no Ie.

Yō no Ie encourages indoor-outdoor living and is the first single-storey structure in Japanese retail company Muji's line of pared-back houses.

Xenobots are living robots
Scientists make first living robots from frog cells

In the design world, Kelly Hoppen was in the spotlight as she revealed her "jewellery-like" electrical accessories that are targeted at the luxury interiors market.

Scientists at Tufts University hit the headlines as they created the first living robots using frog cells, which can walk and heal themselves.

CES 2020 robots
Eight cute and kitschy robots from CES 2020

Following CES 2020 that took place in Las Vegas last week, Dezeen rounded up eight cute robots spotted at the trade show that are designed to be human companions.

We also spoke to the founder of sextech startup Lora DiCarlo who said "we're at the precipice of social change" when it comes to female sex tech. 

Her statement follows CES organisers' controversial decision to revoke an Innovation Award for the brand's Osé massager at last year's event due to the product being deemed as "immoral".

Parc Hadau by Loyn & Co and Farrer Huxley for Sero Homes
Loyn & Co reveals proposal for carbon neutral neighbourhood in Wales

Sustainability came into focus as Loyn & Co revealed its proposal for a carbon neutral neighbourhood in Wales that will comprise 35 dwellings powered by renewable energy.

A brutalist tower by Marcel Breuer in Connecticut was sold by IKEA to a local architect and developer who plans to turn it into a zero net energy hotel.

Cristina Iglesias wins 2020 Royal Academy Architecture Prize
Cristina Iglesias wins 2020 Royal Academy Architecture Prize

This week saw the UK pay tribute to co-chair of Building Better, Building Beautiful Roger Scruton, who passed away at the age of 75. Scruton was a controversial figure throughout his career as a right-wing philosopher.

Meanwhile, London's Royal Academy of Arts named Spanish artist Cristina Iglesias as the third recipient of its annual architecture prize in recognition for her urban sculptures.

Bumpers Oast house by ACME exterior
ACME reinterprets the traditional Kentish oast house as a modern family home

Projects that sparked readers' imaginations this week included a lakeside retreat in Sweden, ACME's interpretation of the traditional Kentish oast house and a minimalist Japanese dwelling that showcases its owner's car.