All posts filed under “Architecture & urbanism

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.)       […]

Design with Intent presentation from Persuasive 2008

Design with Intent presentation from Persuasive 2008

Dan Lockton: Design With Intent (Persuasive 2008) view presentation (tags: environment affordances sustainability lockton) EDIT: I’ve now added the audio! Thanks everyone for the suggestions on how best to do it; the audio is hosted on this site rather than the Internet Archive as the […]

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 […]

One-way turn of the screw

One-way turn of the screw

One-way screws, such as the above (image from Designing Against Vandalism, ed. Jane Sykes, The Design Council, London, 1979) are an interesting alternative to the usual array of tamper-proof ‘security fasteners’ (which usually require a special tool to fit and remove). There’s a very interesting […]

Ann Thorpe: Can artefacts be activists?

Ann Thorpe: Can artefacts be activists?

Ann Thorpe, author of the intriguing-sounding Designer’s Atlas of Sustainability – is pursuing an interesting investigation into design activism: Some of the basic issues around design activism include: # isn’t all design activism? # how much design should be activist — aren’t designers supposed to […]

Cyclepathology

Cyclepathology

A lot of architectures of control / design with intent examples are trying to enforce what I’ve termed ‘access, use or occupation based on user characteristics’. Not all designs are especially successful at achieving that target behaviour: users will not always be persuaded, or will […]

The Rebound Effect nicely illustrated

The Rebound Effect nicely illustrated

The Rebound Effect is a significant problem in energy policy and sustainable design: if new devices are more energy efficient, will users simply use them more, or leave them on for longer? (A kind of Jevons’ Paradox). This UK Energy Research Centre report (PDF, 5 […]

Getting someone to do things in a particular order (Part 2)

Getting someone to do things in a particular order (Part 2)

Continued from part 1 These are the suggested mechanisms applicable to User follows process or path, performing actions in a specified sequence – they fall roughly into three ‘approaches’. In this post, I’m going to examine the System element approach. System element approach This approach […]

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 […]

J G Ballard & Architectures of Control

J G Ballard & Architectures of Control

Over at the brilliant Ballardian, editor Simon Sellars has just published my article ‘J.G. Ballard & Architectures of Control‘, where I take a brief look at how Ballard’s work repeatedly examines ‘the effect of architecture on the individual’ – something central to both the physical […]

Towards a Design with Intent ‘Method’ – v.0.1

Towards a Design with Intent ‘Method’ – v.0.1

As mentioned a while back, I’ve been trying to find a way to classify the numerous ‘Design with Intent’ and architectures of control examples that have been examined on this site, and suggested by readers. Since that post, my approach has shifted slightly to look […]

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 […]

I believe in mirror-queues

I believe in mirror-queues

Meagan Call has written a very interesting piece examining the technique used in some (women’s) public restrooms* of moving the mirrors to the wall near the entrance/exit, rather than behind the sinks as might be expected (and is usually found in mens’ facilities), to lessen […]

Slanty design

Slanty design

The Main Reading Room, Library of Congress. Image from CIRLA. In this article from Communications of the ACM from January 2007, Russell Beale uses the term slanty design to describe “design that purposely reduces aspects of functionality or usability”: It originated from an apocryphal story […]