All posts filed under “Designed to be unpleasant

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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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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Discriminatory architecture

Discriminatory architecture

The entries in B3ta‘s current image challenge, ‘Fat Britain’, include this amusing take on anti- $USER_CLASS benches by monkeon. (There’s also this, using a slightly different discriminatory architecture technique – don’t click if you’re likely to be offended, etc, by B3ta’s style.)       […]

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Best bitter

Best bitter

Bitrex, the world’s most bitter substance, is what’s known as a taste aversive – added to products which might seem tasty to humans (especially children) to persuade them not to drink them, or to spit out what they’ve already drunk. It’s a similar idea to […]

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Mosquito controversy goes high-profile

Mosquito controversy goes high-profile

The Mosquito anti-teenager sound device, which we’ve covered on this site a few times, was yesterday heavily criticised by the Children’s Commissioner for England, Sir Albert Aynsley-Green, launching the BUZZ OFF campaign in conjunction with Liberty and the National Youth Agency: Makers and users of […]

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Destroy everything you touch

Destroy everything you touch

We can’t help but be familiar with the concept of ‘malicious code’ in the context of computer security and programming, but in general the idea of products or technology which, as they’re used, sabotage or degrade the performance of a ‘rival’, is intriguing and not […]

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Biting Apple

Biting Apple

Interesting to see the BBC’s summary of the current iPhone update story: “Apple issues an update which damages iPhones that have been hacked by users”. I’m not sure that’s quite how Apple’s PR people would have put it, but it’s interesting to see that whoever […]

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Cleaning up with carpets

Cleaning up with carpets

Following the recent post looking at aspects of casino and slot machine design, in which I quoted William Choi and Antoine Sindhu’s study – “[Casino] carpeting is often purposefully jarring to the eyes, which draws customers’ gaze upwards toward the machines on the gambling floor” […]

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Design & Punishment

Design & Punishment

Design and Punishment, by Ben Cunningham. Photo from the Arts Institute at Bournemouth‘s 2007 Three Dimensional Design graduate directory. Very neatly linking the themes of the last two posts (devices to make users aware of their energy use, and intentionally uncomfortable seating) is the Design […]

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(Anti-)public seating roundup

(Anti-)public seating roundup

Single-occupancy benches in Helsinki. Photo by Ville Tikkanen Ville Tikkanen of Salient Feature points us to the “asocial design” of these single-person benches installed in Helsinki, Finland. In true Jan Chipchase style, he invites us to think about the affordances offered: As you can see, […]

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Ticket off (reprise)

Ticket off (reprise)

Last year we looked at the way that the pricing structure of no-change-given ticket machines is often – apparently – designed to lead to overpayment, and I posed the question of whether councils/car park operators actually draw up their budget based on a significant proportion […]

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Deliberately creating worry

Deliberately creating worry

Swedish creativity lecturer Fredrik Härén mentions an interesting architecture of control anecdote in his The Idea Book: One of the cafés in an international European airport was often full. The problem was that people sat nursing their coffees for a long time as they waited […]

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