All posts filed under “Do artifacts have politics?

Chute the messenger

Chute the messenger

This is a communal rubbish chute serving a block of flats. The cross-sectional area of the aperture revealed by opening the hatch should be smaller than the cross-sectional area of the chute itself, so there’s less chance of rubbish bags getting stuck, even when someone […]

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 […]

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 […]

Full, tilt

Full, tilt

Jan Hoekstra’s Balancing Bowls for Royal VKB (via Boing Boing) are an interesting ‘portion control/guidance’ solution – as Cory Doctorow puts it: The tilt is tiny, all of 3 degrees, and the net effect is very satisfying — you gradually add snacks to the “light” […]

Do you really need to print that?

Do you really need to print that?

This is not difficult to do, once you know how. Of course, it’s not terribly useful, since a) most people don’t read the display on a printer unless an error occurs, or b) you’re only likely to see it once you’ve already sent something to […]

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 […]

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 […]

Some thoughts on classifications

Some thoughts on classifications

Over the last couple of years, this site has examined, mentioned, discussed or suggested around 250 examples of ‘control’ features or methods designed into products, systems and environments – many of which have come from readers’ suggestions and comments on earlier posts. I’d resisted classifying […]

Water on the membrane

Water on the membrane

The Cranfield/Electrolux Smart Sink – photo from Trespassers by Ed van Hinte and Conny Bakker. Ten years ago, teams from Cranfield University and Electrolux Industrial Design collaborated on an ‘eco-kitchen’, a family of related concepts for a kitchen of the future. Part of the intention […]

Detailing and retailing

Detailing and retailing

The dazzle painting of HMS Furious, c. 1918. Image from A Gallery of Dazzle-Painted Ships A couple of weeks ago we looked at casino carpet design – a field where busy, garish graphic design is deliberately employed to repel viewers, and direct their attention somewhere […]

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” […]

Normalising paranoia

Normalising paranoia

This is brilliant. Chloë Coulson, Erland Banggren and Ben Williams, three Ravensbourne graduates, have put together a project looking at the “culture of fear”, the media’s use of this, and how it affects our everyday state of mind. The outcome is a catalogue, WellBeings™ [PDF […]

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 […]

(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, […]