Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

2017 in architecture: The good, the bad, and the pink

Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between. Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For the eighth consecutive year, Curbed’s own Alexandra Lange and critic Mark Lamster of the Dallas Morning News cover the ups and downs, triumphs, and tragedies of the year in design. If you thought 2016 was hyperbolic, well, you were in for a treat in 2017.

These are dark days in the galaxy. But fear not! Our intrepid critics, the Luke and Leia of architectural criticism, are here, lightsabers drawn, prepared to fight against design evil and restore peace to the urban (and suburban) landscape. Without further ado…

Best Disappearing Act: Apple’s design leadership. From the 11,000-car garage at Apple “Park,” to the company’s claim that stores are “town squares,” the behemoth has lost the plot.

Honk Twice for Sustainability Award: Meanwhile, Toyota dumped plans for their own LEED-rated Texas headquarters in suburbia, with 6,500 parking spaces and effectively zero public transit.

Biggest Disco Ball: Jean Nouvel’s webby, pattern-making dome for the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Good on the critics who visited for not letting the glitter distract from the country’s exploitative labor practices.