Dezeen Magazine

Kate Wagner accuses Dezeen of "coronagrifting"
A tweet from Dezeen prompted Kate Wagner's piece on "coronagrifting"

"Even a frivolous design can generate serious thinking" say commenters

Readers are debating Kate Wagner's coining of the term "coronagrifting" to describe outlandish coronavirus-related proposals and sharing their thoughts on other top stories in this week's comments update.

The architecture critic hit out at architects and designers on her blog writing that many speculative projects that respond to the coronavirus pandemic are "bullsh*t".

She also claimed that Dezeen and Designboom are "the two greatest offenders of coronagrifting" for their extensive coverage of the pandemic.

"Most of these corona solutions aren't solutions at all"

But Dezeen commenters are divided. "Agreed" said Michael Lee on one hand. "Most of these corona solutions aren't solutions at all."

"Well. She's right," added JZ.

Anton wasn't convinced though: "I love it when someone decides they are a gatekeeper for a company they don't own or run. If her complaint was just about the design thought experiment, so be it, but to try and tell a news site what to publish... "

"So she doesn't like it? So what?" added Franklin Getchell. "People are free to use their time and talents as they want. Even a frivolous design can generate serious thinking. I applaud Dezeen for including it. And as others have done, I applaud Dezeen for including the criticism. I suppose I should also applaud Wagner for her judgmental comment. It did get things going."

Are most coronavirus-related solutions "bullsh*t"? Join the discussion

Art Villa by Refuel works
Concrete swimming pool protrudes from Art Villa holiday home in Costa Rican jungle

Concrete Costa Rican holiday home "rather like a Bond villain's lair"

Readers are torn over Art Villa holiday home, designed by Formafatal and Refuel Works and nestled in the Costa Rican jungle.

"I like this house a lot," said Spadestick.

"I like this," agreed Be Nicer. "The spaces inside the house seem to offer a good balance of openness with privacy, light with shade, and natural with manmade. Shame about the pool though, seems like a big concrete monolith to pump energy into everyday."

"Rather like a Bond villain's lair," added Alfred Hitchcock. "I don't understand this continuing fascination with mass concrete. Building in a forest, surely wood is the appropriate construction material – local, natural, sustainable, looks good?"

Would you like to stay in Art Villa? Join the discussion

Shipping-containter Vaccincation Centres by Waugh Thistleton Architects
Mobile vaccination centres in shipping containers could immunise 60 million people in four months, says Waugh Thistleton Architects

Mobile coronavirus vaccination centres "superb use of shipping containers"

Waugh Thistleton Architects' proposal to create 6,500 mobile vaccination centres from old shipping containers in the fight against coronavirus has caused a stir.

"Superb use of containers", praised Alan Smith. "There is no shortage of them and they are often overlooked when a quick, solidly-built, inexpensive solution is needed."

Alfred Hitchcock was less keen: "Mobile health units like this already exist and have done for many years. Of course, they're not made from shipping containers because shipping containers are purpose-made for shipping goods and not for converting into mobile health units."

"If there is such a glut of shipping containers shouldn't we start re-thinking the business model of the shipping industry as well as its practices?" concluded Chris Becket.

Is turning shipping containers into vaccination centres a good idea? Join the discussion

New Democratic Monument by Adam Nathaniel Furman
Colourful "New London Fabulous" design movement is challenging minimalism, says Adam Nathaniel Furman

"New London Fabulous" design movement is the "most interesting notion" one reader has seen in a while

Adam Nathaniel Furman says a colourful "New London Fabulous" design movement is challenging minimalism, much to the delight of some readers.

"Honestly, most interesting notion I've seen in a while," said Michelle. "I love when designers take matters into their own hands, and grouping together under a shared banner to brand the work in a bid to canonize it is definitely a shrewd move."

Colin MacGillivray agreed: "Excellent. If it leads to some colour and decoration on new buildings bring it on."

"I'm not sure this can be promoted as a new aesthetic," replied Quinlan Osborne, more cynically. "After all, kitsch has been around for a long time."

Is minimalism on its way out? Join the discussion

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Dezeen is the world's most commented architecture and design magazine, receiving thousands of comments each month from readers. Keep up to date on the latest discussions on our comments page.