Comments update: the debate over copyright for furniture designs raged on this week, after the managing director of replica company Voga argued that his firm was making good design affordable for the masses.
“Our number one aim is to make great design accessible again, as it was always supposed to be,” wrote Voga’s Chris Diemer in response to Vitra’s Tony Ash, who had claimed that copyists were “eating away at the creativity of our industry”.
A number of readers sided with Diemer. “I’m all for good quality copies. Why should the rich be the only people to enjoy style and design in their home?” wrote feral.
But others felt there was no good argument for producing unauthorised copies of designer’s work.
“Unauthorised reproduction of any designer’s work is the ultimate disrespect,” argued NYC, while Peterbookworm said that cheap copies of classics were distracting customers who might otherwise buy more affordable pieces from contemporary designers.
“Replica furniture not only robs the original designers/license payers, but also the designers of our time who lose out to another shoddy replica,” he wrote. Read the comments on this story »
Bad education: are architecture schools failing to teach students the skills they really need to work?
Research suggesting that architecture students in the UK were not being taught enough practical skills resonated around the world – with readers joining the debate from countries including Mexico, Italy and Holland.
Sam was one of a number of commenters who felt that schools focused too much on theory and not enough on practical skills, “leaving students woefully unprepared for the real world”.
Chris Parrott agreed: “Architects are leaving education with a great knowledge of how to make amazing CGI sci-fi films and no knowledge of how to make a building.”
But John was baffled by the comments. “People who study medicine at university are not trained to be doctors, they learn this in their foundation years and law students complete training contracts before becoming solicitors,” he wrote. “Why should architectural education be any different?” Read the comments on this story »
On point: Daniel Libeskind’s latest building, the Mons International Congress Centre in Belgium, completed last week and was surprisingly well received by Dezeen’s critical audience.
“Usually his buildings are harsh and artificial. This effort is refined and poetic. The first Libeskind I have liked in years,” wrote christopher, congratulating local architecture firm H2A, who collaborated on the project.
But others suggested that the building’s finesse was as much thanks to the contractors as the architects. “He was much better as a paper architect, and his best physical work still remains in Berlin,” added spadestick. Read the comments on this story »
Haute culture: Dutch fashion house Viktor & Rolf’s latest haute-couture collection drew some abstract inspiration from Vincent Van Gogh’s landscape paintings, with huge floral appliqués and intricate straw head dresses.
“These designs are mad. Are all fashion designers on crack?” asked James, prompting a discussion on the function of haute couture as a showcase for designers to demonstrate their technical abilities.
“It’s love of fashion made visible,” explained thepixinator. “The shock of runway is really meant to convey a mood, to be a fantastical reward for the designer’s efforts spent slaving away over spec sheets and lab dips for four months, to create drama around a collection that spurs sales, publicity, and keeps the buyers going in an arduous fashion week, and to simply be Why We Do It.” Read the comments on this story »