In this week’s comments updated readers discussed whether American rapper and designer Kanye West’s plan to move into architecture would be a catalyst for change in the industry, or just a marketing ploy.
Yeezy Home: West’s tweet calling for architects and designers to join his new architecture company and “make the world a better place”, seemed to split opinion among readers, who either applauded or sneered at the 40-year-old’s latest plans.
“I don’t see what all the freak-out is about. In all likelihood, he’ll get involved in some vanity project with a big-name collaborator, pump out a couple concepts, pat himself on the back, and the whole enterprise will fold within a few years,” shrugged Jon
CA suggested West’s new career path was a sign of the times: “His involvement in architecture is a reflection on the industry as a whole. Until design thinking and the insights of architects is respected as a necessity instead of as a luxury, we’ll be stuck in this cycle,”
Colonel Pancake was happy to defend the rapper: “Why is it s a bad thing for Kanye to pursue his passion of architecture and promote its interest among the public is beyond me. Especially considering he’s wildly successful at every creative endeavour he pursues.”
“Promoting the architecture profession is fine. Promoting yourself by pretending to be an architect is fraud,” fired back Bill Hogan
Heywood Floyd felt fellow readers were too quick to jump the gun: “I’m not a fan of Kanye’s music or his tabloid personality, but did you even bother to read what he wrote? Seems like you just allowed everyone else on here to whip you into a frenzy. He didn’t say he wanted to be an architect.”
One reader felt this could be the first of many crossovers between architecture and hip hop.
Do you think Kanye West can make it in architecture? Join the discussion ›
Day job: British set designer Es Devlin’s criticism of the use of unrealistic renderings in architecture seemed to rile readers this week, with some suggesting she was unqualified to comment.
Fabio Palvelli had questions: “Does she understand the role of visualisation in architecture? Are we going to call out all other industries that use enhanced imagery for marketing purposes? What about her own social media? I feel she is a set designer calling the pot black?”
“Somewhat ironic that Es Devlin spends most of her time designing sets and environments for the entertainment industry completely divorced from reality. Somehow she’s an expert in architectural marketing now?” sneered Jmottle
“Making sets for Kanye and Beyonce does not an expert on architecture make,” added Hrvoje Čop
Hugh didn’t think that Devlin’s comments would break any ground in the near future: “There will always be a place for quality renderings as they are the closest thing you will get to conveying the intent of the finished product to the client, and to be honest it is a real skill to get it right!”
Arch was one reader who shared her concerns: “I have my own grievances about renders, but for different reasons. Mainly that they became too important in architectural competitions where often not the best project, but the best image wins.”
This reader found a fatal flaw in Devlin’s argument.
“Isn’t she clever!” wrote Mr Walnut Grey sarcastically.
“I dunno, I quite like it, it’s a bit anarchic. I quite like the letterforms. I can promise you 100 per cent if you’d said this was by Paula Scher half the internet would be fawning over it,” suggested RichardDP
Dik Coates also felt Trump was under fire due to her husband: “To be fair, almost anything she could try to do would come under criticism by someone, due to her proximity to the ‘other’.”
“Seeing that she has a track record for forgery, maybe the credit for the work is due to another,” coaxed Guisforyou.
Missed connection: Foster + Partners’ design for Shenzhen-based robotics company DJI’s headquarters featuring an integrated sky bridge intended to showcase drones divided readers’ opinion this week.
“It’s official. Fosters are too large and are producing ugly buildings,” suggested Observer.
“Don’t know why, but I instantly fell in love with this design,” countered Adardgi.
“Love is blind,” joked Chris Becket.
Sir John V didn’t hold back with his critique: “Another breathtakingly awful design from Fosters. China, I am sorry to say, seems the perfect home for this kind of techno-inhumane architecture.”
For one reader, the visuals were too off-putting for them to appreciate the design.