One: Every year, the Beijing architecture firm Archcy.com holds an Ugliest Buildings Survey—to ‘honour’ China’s biggest eyesores. The people’s choice winner this year: the CORPUS museum—which features a giant statue—compared by voters to a guy sitting on a toilet (see lead image). The judges picked Tian An 1,000 Trees (see below)—a shopping centre in Shanghai designed by a British architect: “Some people associated Tian An with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, given the bizarre shape of the trees lining its rooftop, while others lampooned its resemblance to a traditional Chinese tomb.” We don’t think it’s a patch on Mr Potty but we leave you to decide. (Sixth Tone, Bloomberg News)
Two: It’s not just humans who make odd design choices. Ma Nature coughed up a “dickie berg”—an iceberg named for its unmistakable resemblance to a bit of male anatomy. What’s even funnier: the drone photographer Ken Pretty is from a town named Dildo. Pretty told reporters he's lucky he got there when he did: "It's melting all the time. I mean, it might go limp." Prophetic words that soon came true. Facebook users report that the tip has since fallen off. Sad. (CBC)
Three: Moving on to clever design, have you heard of “floating” pedestrian crossings? These are 3D paintings of a crosswalk—that looks like a levitating zebra crossing. They’re considered to be safer than speed bumps—that are unsafe and can ruin cars and cause air pollution. Over the past five years, the design hack has been trialled across the world—from Denmark to Thailand, Germany and China. A 2022 study showed that it makes both drivers and pedestrians feel safer—although drivers don’t always see the 3D effect.