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Chicago riverwalk

"Suburban sprawl is a much worse problem than skyscrapers" says commenter

In this week's comments update, readers are discussing an interview with 2023 AIA Gold Medal winner Carol Ross Barney, who argues skyscrapers are "just not that valuable".

Barney, who runs Chicago studio Ross Barney Architects, said that investing in undervalued infrastructure, rethinking density and continuing to open up the architecture field to women and minorities are essential for rethinking cities for the 21st century.

Dezeen commenters were quick to debate urban planning and the built environment.

Skyscrapers "just not that valuable" says Carol Ross Barney

"Skyscrapers are just architectural grandstanding"

Jb concurred with Ross Barney's assessment. "Well said. Say it again. Keep saying it," they commented.

But Not my Nimby disagreed, saying: "High density is more sustainable and more economical, and that is truly more equitable."

"Skyscrapers are just architectural grandstanding and don't serve those who must live and work in and around them well," contested George Panagos.

Prado Sellinder thinks that "mixed use, low to mid-rise but still high density urbanism is so much more interesting as part of the urban fabric".

"Suburban sprawl is a much worse problem than skyscrapers," they added.

Whateverandeveramen thinks that "carefully choreographed densification of the suburb is essential for the success and vitality of cities in the next fifty years".

High-rise or urban sprawl? Join the discussion ›

MSG Sphere Las Vegas by Populous
World's largest spherical structure unveiled in Las Vegas

"High-tech nonsense"

Commenters were cynical about the unveiling of the MSG Sphere in Las Vegas.

The bulbous 54,000-square-metre LED screen designed by architecture studio Populous, which is the largest of its kind, was emblazoned with different animations as part of a special show before its official opening in September.

"What a dystopian monstrosity," commented ZEN02.

HintofBrain was equally damning: "High-tech nonsense to tickle the average consumer's indifference to anything resembling culture," they said.

Deep State thinks the MSG Sphere is "a clear sign of a culture in decline."

It was unclear whether or not Kem Roolhaas was joking when they commented "Honestly, this is the best architecture I've seen in years".

Monster or marvel? Join the discussion ›

Render of Model A flying car by Alef
Electric flying car receives approval for test flights in the US

In another story this week that explores technological innovation, the US Federal Aviation Administration has awarded a special airworthiness certificate to a prototype electric car that can go from driving to flying by launching straight up into the air like a drone.

Dezeen readers had lots of questions. Firstly, what makes it a car when "when it can fly anywhere?" queried Colin MacGillivray.

Steve Hassler wanted to know "What license is required to operate this vehicle? Can you only fly it on your personal property? Do air regulations exist to make this safe?"

"Who gives them air right over someone's home?" asked Milton Welch. "With cars, what happens on the road stays on the road," they added.

"In many places, there is a dire need for public transit expansion, yet we're focused on this?" asked aGhostDream. "I'm sorry but we have to start asking ourselves what our priorities are."

Muckers270 captured a lot of the confusion when they declared "there are too many questions that arise out of this".

No-brainer or total headache? Join the discussion ›

Pinwheel house by JM Architecture resembles "a white pebble in the landscape"

"Nice exterior. Antiseptic interior"

Glossy white-concrete winged panels clad this Italian holiday home by Milan studio JM Architecture, which has with a pentagonal plan. Commenters weren't entirely convinced.

"Nice exterior. Antiseptic interior," remarked Trewus. "It's a single idea well executed, and very dull as a result," chimed in Jb.

Hello Peril thinks that "those wings are entirely pointless."

"The projecting fins do nothing for glare – they're just a contrivance like the plan itself," agreed Colin MacGillivray. "There's only one Pentagon that works and that's in Washington DC."

But JZ liked the project: "love the scale and compactness. There's a bit of a sci-fi quality with the interior".

However, Apsco Radiales saw more retro design influences. "Very bold architecture – sort of reminds me of the classic old Italian sport cars when they looked the best. A brilliant piece of work," they commented.

Sci-fi or sports car? Join the discussion ›

Comments update

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 and subscribe to our weekly Debate newsletter, where we feature the best reader comments from stories in the last seven days.