All posts filed under “Urban

A lengthy debate

A lengthy debate

Norwich City Council is introducing a system of parking permit charges determined by the length of the vehicle: The move away from flat-fee permits will penalise drivers who own vehicles more than 4.45 metres (14½ft) in length, such as the Vauxhall Vectra. Brian Morrey, vice-chairman […]

Review: Architecture as Crime Control by Neal Katyal

Review: Architecture as Crime Control by Neal Katyal

Review: Katyal, N. K. “Architecture as Crime Control”, Yale Law Journal, March 2002, Vol 111, Issue 5. Professor Neal Kumar Katyal of Georgetown University Law School, best-known for being (successful) lead counsel in the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case dealing with Guantanamo Bay detainees, has also […]

(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, […]

Lean or mean?

Lean or mean?

Image from a flyer by Joscelyn Bingham. The Lean Seat bench, by Joscelyn Bingham, a graduating 3D Design student from University College Falmouth, is a ‘traditionally’ styled slatted wooden alternative to the (usually) unattractive anti-sit perches often found in public places. Note: the surface of […]

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 […]

archiPWNED

archiPWNED

Image from archiPWNED portfolio entry (PDF) Scott Nusinow, one of Cory Doctorow’s students in his University of Southern California class, ‘PWNED: Everyone on Campus is a Copyright Criminal‘, carried out an architectural concept project for the design of a Los Angeles library. He’s specifically addressed […]

Anti-user seating in Oxford

Anti-user seating in Oxford

Top two photos: A bench on Cornmarket Street, Oxford; Lower two photos: A bus stop seat perch on Castle Street. While from a very narrow specification point-of-view ‘they do their job’, what utter contempt for users these two seating examples demonstrate! The benches on Cornmarket […]

Coercive atmospherics reach the bus shelter

Coercive atmospherics reach the bus shelter

Jonathan Zittrain discusses scented advertising in bus shelters: the California Milk Processor Board recently tried a campaign with chocolate-chip cookie-scented “aromatic strips”, intended to provoke a thirst for milk, in San Francisco before having to remove them after allergy/chemical sensitivity concerns. The use of scent […]

Projected images designed to scare an enemy

Projected images designed to scare an enemy

The figure of a Martian devil looms over London*: from Quatermass & The Pit, 1958, written by the late Nigel Kneale A couple of years ago, after seeing a programme by Jon Ronson, I was reading about the First Earth Battalion and came across a […]

No sliding

No sliding

These spikes are embedded every couple of feet in the hand-rails of a staircase at Highbury & Islington station in London, presumably to prevent kids (or adults) sliding down them. They’re not especially sharp, but would bruise someone pretty badly. Note that there are also […]

Bollardian nightmare?

Bollardian nightmare?

Rising bollards near Darwin College, Cambridge. A man was killed here in May 2006 when his car hit the right-hand bollard; see third photo below. Many thanks to Steve Portigal and Josh for suggesting this subject! Bollards which automatically retract into the road surface to […]

A vein attempt?

A vein attempt?

Blue lighting is sometimes used in public toilets (restrooms) to make it more difficult for drug users to inject themselves (veins are harder to see). The above implementation is in Edinburgh, next to the Tron Kirk. It was more difficult to see my veins through […]

Bruce Schneier : Architecture & Security

Bruce Schneier : Architecture & Security

Bruce Schneier talks about ‘Architecture and Security’: architectural decisions based on the immediate fear of certain threats (e.g. car bombs, rioters) continuing to affect users of the buildings long afterwards. And he makes the connexion to architectures of control outside of the built environment, too: […]

BBC: Surveillance drones in Merseyside

BBC: Surveillance drones in Merseyside

From the BBC: ‘Police play down spy planes idea’: “Merseyside Police’s new anti-social behaviour (ASB) task force is exploring a number of technology-driven ideas. But while the use of surveillance drones is among them, they would be a “long way off”, police said. … “The […]

Reversing the emphasis of a control environment

Reversing the emphasis of a control environment

Image from Monkeys & Kiwis (Flickr) Chris Weightman let me know about how it felt to watch last Thursday’s iPod Flashmob at London’s Liverpool Street station: the dominant sense was of a mass of people overturning the ‘prescribed’ behaviour designed into an environment, and turning […]