The most read architecture and design stories of 2022

To wrap up our 2022 review, Dezeen editor Tom Ravenscroft takes a look at this year’s biggest architecture and design stories, including The Line, the Vulva Spaceship and the World’s thinnest building.


January – Manhattan Island extension can house 250,000 people

The year began with a speculative bid to add 1,760 acres of reclaimed land to the tip of Manhattan to provide New York City with additional housing while tackling climate change.

Rutgers University professor Jason Barr’s plan, called New Mannahatta, would see Manhattan Island extend as far as New York Harbor to include Governors Island and provide land for 180,000 new homes.

Barr followed suit, saying in an opinion piece for Dezeen that “we need to overcome our deep-rooted phobia of big projects.”

Read more about the proposed Manhattan Island extension ›


MIT plastic stronger than steel

February – MIT engineers invented plastic stronger than steel

News of a new type of plastic twice as strong as steel in February was the most read article of the month. Invented by chemical engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the material is light and moldable like plastic, but with a strength and resistance closer to steel.

The material’s properties mean that its inventors envisioned its use as a coating to increase the durability of objects and, in the long term, as a structural material.

Read more about plastic stronger than steel ›


Wer Braucht Feminismus' Vulva Spaceship?

March – Vulva Spaceship aims to counter prevalence of phallic spacecraft

German feminist art group Wer Braucht Feminismus? He unveiled the concept of a vulva-shaped spaceship in March, and the ionic craft has become the most read piece on the moon.

According to the group, the concept was created to challenge the tradition of phallic spacecraft design and “restore gender equality to the cosmos.”

Read more about the Vulva Spaceship ›


World's thinnest skyscraper designed by SHoP Architects completed in Manhattan

April – World’s thinnest skyscraper designed by SHoP Architects completed in Manhattan

It is one of the most anticipated and controversial buildings in the world, which was completed in April.

SHoP Architects’ super-tall skyscraper 111 West 57th Street in New York City is both the world’s thinnest building and the second tallest in the Western Hemisphere. The news of the completion of the 435-meter (435-meter) tower was also the most read news in April.

Read more about the world’s thinnest skyscraper ›


Tree forks from the MIT Digital Structures research group

May – MIT engineers build load-bearing structures using wooden forks instead of steel links

The second time on this year’s best-read list from MIT comes in May when Dezeen reported on research that showed that discarded tree forks could replace load-bearing joints in architectural projects.

The construction technique, developed by the Digital Structures research group at MIT, combines generative design and robotic manufacturing to allow tree forks to be used as Y-shaped nodes in building projects.

Read more about load-bearing tree forks ›


Bright Turbine from Aurea Technologies

June – Folding Shine Turbine delivers “wind power that fits in your backpack”

Canadian start-up Aurea Technologies launched a portable wind turbine in June to provide reliable, renewable energy on the go.

The turbine, which shrank to the size of a water bottle, became the most read article of the month.

Read more about Shine Turbine ›


Line

July – Saudi Arabia unveils a 170-kilometer-long mirrored skyscraper to house nine million people

July saw the biggest architectural story of the year break when the Saudi Arabian government revealed images of a 170-kilometer skyscraper city planned as part of the Neom development.

Designed by US studio Morphosis, the 500-metre-long linear city will be called The Line and will stretch across the northwestern Saudi Arabian desert.

Read more about Line ›


Telosa city

August – Ten futuristic cities to build around the world

Following the launch of The Line, we took a look at 10 currently planned futuristic cities around the world, including the Telosa construction designed by Danish architecture studio BIG (above).

Along with BIG, studios including Foster + Partners and OMA are mastering futuristic urban centers that often claim to be designed with a focus on sustainability.

Read more about futuristic cities built around the world ›


Underground house and restaurant designed by architect Junya Ishigami

September – Junya Ishigami hides mud-covered house and restaurant below ground level in Japan

In September, an incredibly unique house was the focus of the month’s most read post. The home and restaurant of Japanese chef Motonori Hirata, designed by Japanese architect Junya Ishigami, is completely underground.

It was created by pouring concrete into the holes in the floor to create the living spaces of the house.

Read more about Junya Ishigami’s underground house ›


The Line megacity under construction in Saudi Arabia

October – Drone footage reveals The Line megacity under construction in Saudi Arabia

The Line returned to the news in October, and drone footage showing the start of work on the site became the most read story of the month.

The image, taken by aerial photography company Ot Sky, shows multiple diggers digging a wide linear trench in the desert for the city’s foundations.

According to the human rights organization ALQST, the footage was released shortly after we reported that three people who were forcibly evacuated from the Neom site were sentenced to death.

Read more about The Line drone footage ›


Line in Saudi Arabia

November – “All those accomplices in the design and construction of Neom are already destroyers of worlds”

Following footage from The Line and reports of reported human rights abuses, Adam Greenfield wrote an opinion piece questioning whether the architects at Neom were content to be complicit in an “ecological and moral atrocity.”

“All those accomplices in the design and construction of Neom are already destroyers of worlds,” he wrote.

Read Greenfield’s opinion ›


2026 World Cup stadiums

December – Sixteen stadiums will host 2026 World Cup matches

At the end of the year, the first winter World Cup was held in Qatar, where seven new stadiums were built to host the tournament.

At the end of this year’s World Cup, we were looking forward to the next tournament and the 16 stadiums that will host matches in 2026 in the USA, Mexico and Canada, all of which have already been built.

Read more about 2026 World Cup Stadiums ›

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