Swimming governing body FINA is reviewing its decision to ban a swimming cap favoured by black athletes from the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after the move triggered a backlash.
The Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) is assessing whether athletes competing at the games, which begin on 23 July, will be able to wear the Soul Cap.
A statement released by the governing body said it was "committed to ensuring that all aquatics athletes have access to appropriate swimwear."
The larger swimming caps, which are designed for people with "long and voluminous hair", were banned from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as they don't meet FINA's requirements.
"Soul Cap, which is designed to accommodate for diverse hair types in swimming, has been denied by FINA from their approval process to become certified to wear for competition swimming," Soul Cap explained on Instagram.
However, the ban provoked a public backlash, with claims that it would discourage black people from taking up swimming.
As a result, the governing body is now reviewing its decision to better "understand the importance of inclusivity and representation". The review will also look at whether the larger swimming caps provide wearers with an unfair advantage.
"FINA is committed to ensuring that all aquatics athletes have access to appropriate swimwear for competition where this swimwear does not confer a competitive advantage," said FINA.
"FINA acknowledges the comments and reactions concerning the use of Soul Cap," the body said. "FINA appreciates the efforts of Soul Cap and other suppliers to ensure everyone has the chance to enjoy the water."
The statement also details that FINA will contact the manufacturer of Soul Cap about the future use of the swimming caps in competitions.
Currently, there are no restrictions on the larger swimming caps being used in recreational swimming or in domestic competitions in the UK.
Though Soul Cap fears the current decision "could discourage many younger athletes from pursuing the sport", it is hopeful that the discussion will lead to a more inclusive sporting arena.
"We feel it has opened up a wider conversation all across the world surrounding diversity in swimming, so it's great to be a part of that cultural shift happening within the sport," said Michael Chapman, co-founder of Soul Cap.
"From sizing and material to body types and hair types, it’s rare something will work for everyone," he told Dezeen. "If a sportswear brand wants to step away from the one-size-fits-all approach and cater to a wide audience, they need to be open to variety. It's simply recognising there are different types of needs."
The British black-owned swimwear brand creates a range of products "for those with dreadlocks, weaves, hair extensions, braids, thick and curly hair". These include large-sized swimming caps that are designed to keep "voluminous" hair protected from water and chlorine.
"The swim caps are 100 per cent silicone, meaning less snag on the hair and a more comfortable fit than latex," Chapman explained. "We felt there wasn't a premium product solution out there that catered to the needs of swimmers with long and thick hair."
"We wanted the design and material to feel premium, so we worked hard to create a swim cap that swimmers would feel good in," he continued.
Other items designed to be more racially inclusive include bandages by Band-Aid that come in multiple shades and Reframd's sunglasses which are tailored to fit black noses.
Photography is by Luke Hutson Flynn.
Napier Clarke Architects has renovated a 1970s house in Buckinghamshire, England, adding a glazed entrance link and converting the former garage into a kitchen clad in charred timber.
The Samarkand house occupies a tree-lined 0.4-acre site in Little Kingshill on the outskirts of the village of Great Missenden.
The brick-clad, four-bedroom property had previously been extended with a gabled addition housing the garage. As it is located within a green belt area, any further extensions to the building were prevented.
Napier Clarke Architects worked with the clients to determine whether it was best to demolish the house and rebuild on the existing footprint, or to upgrade the existing building.
"The existing 1970s house was a pretty uninspiring, poorly extended building that had not been updated for about 30 years," said the studio.
"For this project we really believed that we could work with the original house, creating a highly sustainable project through the virtue of retaining the existing."
The clients agreed to retain and modernise the 1970s building as it offered the most cost-effective solution, as well as being more sustainable than demolition and rebuilding.
To achieve the contemporary living spaces required, the Napier Clarke Architects proposed arranging the interior in a more efficient way and converting the garage to make it part of the house.
Due to the property's location in the Chiltern Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, updates needed to conserve, contextualise and enhance the existing building.
The original London-brick building was retained and new windows were added to give it a more contemporary feel. Light-grey plastic cladding applied to the garage extension was removed and the entire structure was wrapped in charred timber.
The main intervention is the removal of a section of the roof and walls between the gabled extension and the existing brick structure. This results in two distinct forms joined by a new glazed element.
"We wanted to create a house with more clarity of form, so we relocated the entrance between the brick and gable building, creating a glass link entrance," the architects added.
The entrance in the new glasswalway leads into a hall where a repositioned staircase ascends through a double-height void connecting the two floors.
A former garage now contains a utility area to the left of the entrance, along with a kitchen positioned towards the rear of the house.
The kitchen connects with a lounge area, study and a formal living room arranged linearly so they all open onto the back garden and pool terrace.
Upstairs, the floorplan was also reconfigured to provide three identical double bedrooms with a shared bathroom and shower room, along with a main bedroom with its own en-suite shower room and dressing area.
The refurbished interior features a minimal interior palette, with white walls and ceilings contrasted by black fitted cabinetry, doors and metalwork that complements the timber-clad gable building.
Buckinghamshire-based Napier Clarke Architects was established in 2015 by Amy Napier and Steven Clarke.
More 1970s renovations include the refresh of a "terribly dated" Melbourne home by Inbetween Architecture and an overhaul of a "plain and ugly" council flat London by Archmongers.
The photography is courtesy of Napier Clarke Architects.