Dezeen commentators of 2022

After architecture, design and interiors have sparked a lot of discussion again this year, Dezeen’s digital team reviews their favorite reviews and commenters from the past 12 months as part of our 2022 review.

Dezeen’s digital team has been tasked with managing our heavy comments section, which received thousands of reviews in 2022.

One of the featured reviewers was Betty Rubble, thanks to her. A shower of fun but serious contributions at the same time under BIG’s concrete tower in Quitowhat features balconies overlooking the floors above.

“This building could have been built so that a homeowner could fry eggplant in her underwear and dance with her dog and a martini,” Rubble said, as a comment on compromised privacy. “I’m just saying, you know, for a friend.”

Comments can get heated, and the tone can sometimes get ugly when commenters argue without seemingly trying to listen or reason with each other.

But Rubble walked a clean tightrope through some of the thorny replies, as one answer says. “Don’t like it? Don’t move”.

“I hope you like eggplant”

Instead of taking the bait, Rubble continued to steer the conversation back to the topic.

“JoyfulIs my feedback unimportant as long as I don’t live there?” Rubble asked. The digital team is always a commentator who avoids getting into a war of words.

Rubble ended the discussion by saying, “If you ever go to Boston, I’ll introduce you to my ‘friend’.” “I hope you like eggplant.” Read all topic Here.

BIG’s building in Quito has a façade of stepped balconies facing each other.

Another favorite of the digital team is the seasoned commentator. Zea Newland. Never hating to present a measured opinion in an intense discussion, Newland dived into some of Dezeen’s most talked-about stories in 2022.

In April, Thomas Heatherwick had some words to suggest about his plans for the United States. Buckingham Palace Tree Tree statuedesigned the late Queen II. As part of Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

“It’s a bit like a parody of Heatherwick, or a critical commentary on how architects love to ‘design nature’.” Newland wrote.

Thomas Heatherwick's Tree of Trees Buckingham Palace statue
Heatherwick’s Tree of Tree statue, Queen Elizabeth II. At Buckingham Palace to celebrate Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee

When British designer Heatherwick spoke of her commitment to integrate nature into her work In an interview with Dezeen In June, Newland mocked: “How were forests formed before Heatherwick started making trees?”

“The future is in parks and green walkways where parking lots used to be,” they concluded. “There’s no need to reinvent nature by planting trees in small planting pots on the 12th floor just to increase the value of an unoccupied flat.”

Yet Tree of Trees wasn’t the only project that got Newland on the wrong track. when the US studio Fougeron Architecture reveals Suspension HouseThe reviewer, a large vacation home that bridges a creek in California, couldn’t resist making fun of Silicon Valley types.

“Gosh, do tech guys get claustrophobic when they walk into rooms smaller than an airport terminal?” they wondered, to the amusement of other commentators.

Designed as a domus trimaran
Domus trimaran designed as “the world’s first zero emission superyacht”

Commentator Chris Brown also breathed new life into Dezeen’s 2022 writings with his honest, playful and humorous contributions.

Brown compared the concept of the Domus trimaran, designed to be “the world’s first zero-emissions superyacht,” to “the home of a Bond villain,” saying, “It would take centuries for James Bond to find the evil on that thing, it’s huge!”

“But since he knew the 007, he would gloat with one of the tactically adapted Omega watches,” they continued.

The aforementioned Newlands also appeared under the Domus trimaran storyline. Newland’s comment more than 20 times “You know what zero emissions is? Every superyacht that isn’t built”.

Beeah Headquarters Sharjah Zaha Hadid Architects
A camel passing by the Beah Headquarters in Sharjah by Zaha Hadid Architects

In April, Zaha Hadid Architects completed the dune-like Beeah Headquarters in Sharjah. The story got a lot of commentary and Brown got back into the mix, appreciating one project photo in particular.

“The camel fires beautifully!” they said. “But he looks a little confused! He’s probably thinking to himself, ‘What…?’ she thinks.”

“Look at our climate – too little will be too late”

Stories about buildings with mirrored glass facades often attract commentators worried about bird strikes. One of the most commented stories of the year sought out experts’ views on glass facades, the “main culprit” for billions of bird deaths each year.

“This should come as no surprise,” said trusted commentator Ken Steffes. “Glass is cheap and nature is disposable. It’s always all about money.”

“When it comes to making money, people have no respect for the natural environment,” Steffes continued. “Look at our climate – it will be too late for many birds. Another sad fact of humans not being able to handle our planet.”

Bird carcasses collected from the World Trade Center after the fighting
Bird carcasses collected from the World Trade Center after the fighting

Dezeen then published an exclusive interview with Jared Goodman of the animal rights organization PETA, who claimed that billions of bird deaths were due to the architects’ “simple indifference”.

The story sparked another spate of commentary, including from Brown. “If this is happening at the scale it is, then architects and designers have failed miserably,” they said.

Brown’s words touched upon themes that ran through much of the discourse among Dezeen commentators in 2022.

This year, many stories and comments grappled with environmental and development issues, as well as questions about the ethics of megaprojects, migrant labor, and where the money for architectural projects comes from.

“What could go wrong?”

Not surprisingly, the most commented story of the year was Saudi Arabia’s announcement of plans for a 170-kilometer-long mirrored skyscraper to house nine million people called The Line.

Some wanted to give away the plans that would be developed by Neom to leave room for doubt. “You have to give it to Prince Salman, he has a vision of the future for his country,” commented Philippe Desrosiers.

Many were skeptical, including Ellen Gaube, who said, “This is a huge loss with rising ocean levels in our future.”

A few commenters called the funny side. “That’s what happens when you drink all night with Elon Musk and the guy who designed the silver ball at Burning Man,” Nievie mocked. “A giant, shiny fence for the upcoming Douglas Adams space gym.”

Michael captured the debate around The Line, and indeed much of the 2022 news cycle, with a succinct question: “What could go wrong?”

Come back in 2023 to find out.

Neom's The Line planned to run 170km across Saudi Arabia
Neom’s The Line planned to run 170km across Saudi Arabia

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