Design is a tricky game—it's part art after all; a single project can be a tangled mess of influences, some clear, some not so clear. And then there are the head-slappers. Like Lake Mary High School in Florida, recently busted for using the Dodge logo as their own [Ed. note: Full disclosure, this was my high-school's rival growing up, though my mom actually worked there briefly as a teacher. Go Seminoles!]. NPR got the school's principal on the phone, caught red-handed, and he tried to play the whole thing off. He claimed when he first got the call from a Chrysler rep threatening to sue unless he got rid of the logo, he thought it was a joke until he "googled his phone number." Apparently, the school attempted to negotiate a licensing agreement, but Chrysler refused.
La Llotja de Lleida, a convention center in Lleida, Spain (left) that opened last month was designed by Mecanoo Architects from Delft. So you'd think they'd have known better than to propose a pretty clear riff on the 50-year-old Delft Technical University Auditorium by Van der Broek and Bakema. Mecanoo says it wasn't a "direct inspiration."—their building in Lleida is more like a "recreation of the past."
Think you're a design rock star? Guess the fake. Target is selling what they call a "Le Corbusier Petit Chair"—but what designers know as the iconic LC2. Cassina is the only company authorized to produce Le Corbusier's furniture and, as the Fondation Le Corbusier (and plenty of Cassina ads) makes painfully obvious, "all pieces of furniture which do not bear the logotype Cassina, the signature of Le Corbusier and the production number are counterfeits."
(Oh, the fake? On the left.)