All posts filed under “Architecture & urbanism

Two events next week

Two events next week

Next Wednesday evening, 27th May, I’ll be giving a presentation about Design with Intent at SkillSwap Brighton’s ‘Skillswap Goes Behavioural’ alongside Ben Maxwell from Onzo (pioneers of some of the most interesting home energy behaviour change design work going on at present). I hope I’ll […]

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The ‘You Are Here’ Use-mark

The ‘You Are Here’ Use-mark

Who really needs a “You Are Here” marker when other visitors’ fingers have done the work for you? (Above, in Florence; below, in San Francisco) Use-marks, like desire paths, are a kind of emergent behaviour record of previous users’ perceptions (and perceived affordances), intentions, behaviours […]

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Anti-teenager “pink lights to show up acne”

Anti-teenager “pink lights to show up acne”

In a similar vein to the Mosquito, intentionally shallow steps (and, superficially at least–though not really–blue lighting in toilets, which Raph d’Amico dissects well here), we now have residents’ associations installing pink lighting to highlight teenagers’ acne and so drive them away from an area: […]

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Designed environments as learning systems

Designed environments as learning systems

How much of designing an environment is consciously about influencing how people use it? And how much of that influence is down to users learning what the environment affords them, and acting accordingly? The first question’s central what this blog’s been about over the last […]

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Heating debate

Heating debate

Central heating systems have interfaces, and many of us interact with them every day, even if only by experiencing their effects. But there’s a lot of room for improvement. They’re systems where (unlike, say, a car) we don’t generally get instantaneous feedback on the changes […]

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What’s the deal with angled steps?

What’s the deal with angled steps?

It’s a simple question, really, to any readers with experience in urban planning and specifying architectural features: what is the reasoning behind positioning steps at an angle such as this set (left and below) leading down to the Queen’s Walk near London Bridge station? Obviously […]

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Staggering insight

Staggering insight

I’ve mentioned a few times, perhaps more often in presentations than on the blog, the fact that guidelines for the design of pedestrian crossings in the UK [PDF] recommend that where a crossing is staggered, pedestrians should be routed so that they have to face […]

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Anti-homeless ‘stools’

Anti-homeless ‘stools’

Stuart Candy of the brilliant Sceptical Futuryst let me know about authorities in Honolulu replacing benches with round ‘stools’ to prevent homeless people sleeping at bus stops (above image from Honolulu Advertiser story): So far, the city has spent about $11,000 on the seating initiative, […]

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{In|Ex}clusive Design

{In|Ex}clusive Design

Giving with one hand, and taking away with the other. The juxtaposition of hand rails and anti-sit spikes outside this church in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire suggests a particular configuration of design priorities: helping people climb the steps, but forbidding anyone sitting on the wall. Are the […]

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Skinner and the Mousewrap

Skinner and the Mousewrap

Dontclick.it, an interesting interface design experiment by Alex Frank, included this amusing idea, the Mousewrap, to ‘train’ users not to click any more “through physical pain”. It did make me think: is the use of anti-sit spikes on window sills, ledges, and so on, or […]

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Architecting and designing

Architecting and designing

          Seth Godin asks ‘Is architect a verb?’, and makes an interesting distinction between design and architecture (emphases mine): Design carries a lot of baggage related to aesthetics. We say something is well-designed if it looks good. There are great designs that don’t look good, […]

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So long, and thanks for all the rubbish

So long, and thanks for all the rubbish

It cost nothing to put this (trilingual) thank-you message on this litter bin at Helsinki Airport. But does this kind of message – a very simple injunctive norm – have more effect on user behaviour than the absence of a message? To what extent does […]

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