A few of the best design- and architecture-related April Fools’ Day jokes

Happy April Fools’ Day! This is the one time a year where it is fully acceptable for companies, brands, and celebrities to announce wacky new snack pairings, unprecedented name changes, and new company roles. AN editors scoured the internet and social media for the design- and architecture-related pranks that were kidded around this year. From a banana-shaped sleeping bag, a design firm led by AI, to a prank about the Knoxville Sunsphere, check out these jokes. Did you fall for any?

Rafael de Cárdenas

Designer Rafael de Cárdenas announced his retirement and said the firm would be run by artificial intelligence. Folks who scrolled through to the end learned the announcement was all a hoax.


One architecture publication leaned into the Taylor Swift craze. Archinect shared an image of the popstar and joked she would be a keynote speaker at the AIA Conference happening later this year. Her panel title: A New Architecture Era.

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building joined in on the fun. The iconic building announced a new “World’s Highest Rainforest Cafe” that would set up a cafe and dining experience for visitors on its wraparound observation deck. Dinner and a view!

Queens Museum

On a related note… the Queens Museum’s miniature-sized Empire State Building has a new resident as of this morning. The art institution shared an image online of KingKong with his arms wrapped around the tower.

Duke University

While yesterday Duke University’s basketball team lost its shot in the Final Four of this year’s NCAA championship, the North Carolina school’s football team had a ball coming up with this next April Fools Day hoax: It is painting its football field blue. If that’s not school spirit…

The Edge

Last year The Edge pranked the masses with the news of a curvy slide that would flank the exterior of the building. This year to a similar tune, the building shared an edited image with a large hot air balloon perched on its triangular observation deck.

Larsen Jay, Knox County Commission

Knox county commissioner Larsen Jay shared in his monthly newsletter a Simpsons-themed practical joke. In the email it said the Knoxville Sunsphere, a relic of the 1982 World’s Fair would become a Simpsons-themed museum.


Last year Amtrak teased a Loud Car. This year the railroad company is off-the-rails again with a playful ploy: the emotional baggage car. “Tag a friend who needs a lift–we can handle it,” the social media post stated in its caption.


On a furniture note, Dole bananas unveiled a ripe new product in its produce line: a banana-shaped sleeping bag. The appealing design actually makes a lot of sense.

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston

In a press conference today Denver Mayor Mike Johnston briefed the public on “a historic step” for the city. In a short clip shared on X, Johnston said the city would forgo its use of the customary system for measurement to instead use the metric system. That’s in square meters now, not square feet.

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