All posts filed under “Social engineering

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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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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Salt licked?

Salt licked?

UPDATE: See the detailed response below from Peter of Gateshead Council, which clarifies, corrects and expands upon some of the spin given by the Mail articles. The new shakers were supplied to the chip shop staff for use behind the counter: “Our main concern was […]

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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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Designing Safe Living

Designing Safe Living

Lancaster University’s interdisciplinary Institute for Advanced Studies (no, not that one) has been running a research programme, New Sciences of Protection, culminating in a conference, Designing Safe Living, on 10-12 July, “investigat[ing] ‘protection’ at the intersections of security, sciences, technologies, markets and design.” The keynote […]

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Nudges and the power of choice architecture

Nudges and the power of choice architecture

An ‘advance uncorrected page proof’ of Nudge I managed to get off Abebooks. Thanks to Hien Nguyen for the photo. Nudge, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, is a publishing sensation of the moment, no doubt helped by Thaler’s work advising Barack Obama (many thanks […]

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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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Persuasion & control round-up

Persuasion & control round-up

New Scientist: Recruiting Smell for the Hard Sell Samsung’s coercive atmospherics strategy involves the smell of honeydew melon: THE AIR in Samsung’s flagship electronics store on the upper west side of Manhattan smells like honeydew melon. It is barely perceptible but, together with the soft, […]

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