From the backlash against gender inequality to the shifting political landscape following Donald Trump’s election, 2017 has been full of controversial events for architecture and design. Digital editor Trudie Carter selects the 10 most polarising moments for our review of year.
This sports hijab by Nike was shortlisted for the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year award.
The stretchy garment for female Muslim athletes, which was unveiled on International Women’s Day, proved contentious among those who view the hijab as a symbol of oppression.
The start of 2017 saw Donald Trump inaugurated as president, triggering a wave of protests against his policies, which include building a Mexican border wall and preventing citizens from several Middle Eastern countries from entering the US.
In response to these concerns, industrial designer Tucker Viemeister designed a satirical logo for the president based on Nazi insignia.
After Trump assumed office, immigration rules and border controls were tightened in the US.
The founder of New York design gallery Chamber was turned away by border patrol and interrogated under oath in February, despite being a legal resident of the US for 10 years.
In response to Trump’s alleged sexism, a series of female-only design exhibitions opened in New York to highlight inequality and stand in solidarity with women’s marches occurring all over the world.
But readers argued against the need for “positive discrimination”. In an opinion column for Dezeen, Dortre Mandrup addressed this point by claiming that she is “an architect, not a female architect”.
During the UK’s general election, the United Kingdom Independence Party released a campaign video in favour of classical architecture.
In response, Dezeen columnist Phineas Harper suggested that today’s architects revert to traditional building styles in the face of populism.
Amid growing backlash against gender inequality in architecture, Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava raised eyebrows during a talk in which he told female architects to “just wait a second” for pay equality, and drew naked women in front of the audience.
In April this year, London major Sadiq Khan pulled the plug on the Thomas Heatherwick-designed Garden Bridge, after an independent enquiry found that it was better to cancel the project that spend more public money on it.
The decision was welcomed by those who felt the bridge was offensive on “many levels”.
An Instagram post by Bjarke Ingels depicting his firm BIG‘s 12 business partners prompted a social media backlash, and led the lone woman of the group, Sheela Maini Søgaard, to defend the company’s gender balance.
Bjarke Ingels later responded to the issue by telling Dezeen; “if I were a misogynist, would I hire a woman as my CEO?”
The eagerly anticipated Apple Park designed by Foster + Partners began welcoming employees in April, but attracted criticism from tech magazine Wired, which described it as an “anachronism wrapped in glass”.
The response caused Apple CEO Jony Ive anxiety during a tour round the sprawling campus, in which he said, “It’s nice though, isn’t it?” He later hit out at critics, saying “we didn’t design it for other people”.
Artist Stuart Semple prohibited Anish Kapoor from acquiring his pink paint in retaliation to Kapoor gaining exclusive rights to the coveted Vantablack shade, dubbed the “world’s blackest black”.