All posts filed under “Urban

Through London with the DwI goggles on

Through London with the DwI goggles on

As I’ve admitted before, having the idea of ‘design that’s intended to influence behaviour’ on my mind a lot of the time does sometimes lead to seeing everything with that filter in place: [It’s] a kind of conspiracy bias, ascribing to design intent that which […]

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Thoughts on the ‘fun theory’

Thoughts on the ‘fun theory’

The ‘Piano Staircase’ from Volkswagen’s thefuntheory.com The Fun Theory (Rolighetsteorin), a competition / campaign / initiative from Volkswagen Sweden – created by DDB Stockholm – has been getting a lot of attention in the last couple of weeks from both design-related people and other commentators […]

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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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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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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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Un-hiding an affordance

Un-hiding an affordance

These (pretty shallow) steps in Dawlish, Devon, have been labelled as such, presumably because without this, some visitors wouldn’t notice, and would run, cycle or wheelchair down them and hurt themselves or others. Painting a white line along the edge is a common way of […]

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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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