"The Great Ward of China"

In this week's comments update, readers are divided over China's decision to rapidly build a hospital for the treatment of patients with suspected coronavirus. 

Emergency services: news that the government of China is rapidly building a 1,000-bed hospital in Wuhan in order to help contain and treat patients with coronavirus has sparked debate among readers.

"The virus is spreading faster than concrete hardening for a shed. Why not convert existing halls, sheds, warehouses, schools, etc. into makeshift quarantines?" asked Spadestick.

Jacopo continued: "The term 'hospital' has been used a little bit loosely. It's a medical shed for 1,000 beds. It's like making a camping tent in two hours and calling it a 'villa'".

"Well they don't sit around and discuss it for years... they just get on with it," responded Marmite.

"It's telling of the arrogance of the so-called West that just because we can't conceive of something like this, neither can people in China," added Decent Discourse. "This will be an isolation facility, not a full hospital, which makes the task magnitudes less complex, but still quite a feat to pull off. Rather than 'Yeah, but this', let's just watch and learn."

This reader coined their own name for the hospital:

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


Bjarke Ingels meets Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro to "change the face of tourism in Brazil"

BIG ideas: readers are divided after Bjarke Ingels released a statement defending his decision to meet with Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro. The Danish architect rejected the idea that countries like Brazil should be off-limits saying,"creating a list of countries that BIG should shy away from working with seems to be an oversimplification of a complex world".

"More power to BIG if the studio can be the bringers of change for the better in Brazil," said Benny. "Not my favourite architects by any means, but they attract attention, and bad people/bad things abhor everyone else watching, so I'll remain optimistic on this one."

Dunbare Heathcote continued: "Ingels has got hundreds of people sat at desks that need to be kept busy, he's just lost a big job in New York and needs to get in more work if he's going to avoid laying staff off. He doesn't work for a charity or the government... if you are responsible for maintaining the livelihoods of so many people, what would you have done?"

"The point is not working in Brazil, but kissing the hands of a homophobic torture defender to get cheap favours," replied Bernardo Senna.

Noah agreed: "Bolsonaro is an aspiring dictator and is responsible for some of the worst environmental destruction in a generation, and proudly plans for more! Ingels is doing window dressing for an abattoir. He's being used for his talents so that Bolsonaro can deflect criticism about the fact that he's an abhorrent, hateful leader."

This reader used the architect's own words against him:

Is Ingels immoral for working in Brazil? Join the discussion ›


Minimalist Home Tool drill is designed to be unintimidating

This is not a drillÉCAL graduate Byongseon Bae has given the drill a makeover, replacing its characteristic gun shape with a sleek, monochrome design and simplified functionality. Readers aren't impressed.

"The purpose of the 'gun' shape is so you can apply adequate force on the screw so the driver doesn't just strip it out," said Jonny Panic. "This is a tool designed by somebody who doesn't use tools."

Guest agreed: "The gun shape not only works better, there's much less hand fatigue."

"You know who knows how to design a screwdriver? Tool companies," said Troy Smith Designs.

Heywood Floyd was equally frustrated: "I'm actually intimidated by the pointlessness of this exercise."

As was this reader:

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IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof by Querkraft Architekten for IKEA

No parking zone: IKEA is building a store in Vienna, which will be adorned with more than 100 trees and won't have any car parking spaces, in a bid to "radically change customer and mobility behaviours". Commenters aren't convinced though.

"IKEA should focus on improving its online customer delivery service first, then try to make better looking stores," said Joaquin. "The home delivery service for large orders of furniture/cabinets in the USA is so antiquated."

Bubba10 went on: "Sounds like a great time to be carrying dishes, frames and furniture because they don't allow cars. I predict they will have the lowest sales numbers of any IKEA."

"This is an eyesore, much like all of IKEA's branding," added Catcassidy. "This is way too half-baked and shambolic for an international company of this prominence to press release. It's like a Pinterest board of architectural trend, and their blue and yellow has become a grotesque liability."

"Oh joy!" joked Lexilix. "A five-level maze instead of a one level maze! Please tell me the doors to the stairs are not one way."

This reader was also feeling ironic:

Is a car-free IKEA a good idea? Join the discussion ›