Secret city design tricks manipulate your behaviour
When Selena Savic walks down a city street, she sees it differently to most people. Whereas other designers might admire the architecture, Savic sees a host of hidden tricks intended to manipulate our behaviour and choices without us realising – from benches that are deliberately uncomfortable to sculptures that keep certain citizens away.
Modern cities are rife with these “unpleasant designs”, says Savic, a PhD student at the Ecole Polytechnique Federerale de Lausanne in Switzerland, who co-authored a book on the subject this year. Once you know these secret tricks are there, it will transform how you see your surroundings. “We call this a silent agent,” says Savic. “These designs are hidden, or not apparent to people they don’t target.” Are you aware of how your city is manipulating you?
In 1999, the UK opened a Design Against Crime research centre, and authorities in Australia and the US have since followed suit. Many of the interventions these groups pioneered are familiar today: such as boundary marks painted around cashpoints to instil an implied privacy zone and prevent “shoulder surfing”.
San Francisco, the birthplace of street skateboarding, was also the first city to design solutions such as “pig’s ears” – metal flanges added to the corner edges of pavements and low walls to deter skateboarders. These periodic bumps along the edge create a barrier that would send a skateboarder tumbling if they tried to jump and slide along.
Indeed, one of the main criticisms of such design is that it aims to exclude already marginalised populations such as youths or the homeless. Unpleasant design, Savic says, “is there to make things pleasant, but for a very particular audience. So in the general case, it’s pleasant for families, but not pleasant for junkies.”
Preventing rough sleeping is a recurring theme. Any space that someone might lie down in, or even sit too long, is likely to see spikes, railings, stones or bollards added. In the Canadian city of Calgary, authorities covered the ground beneath the Louise Bridge with thousands of bowling ball-sized rocks. This unusual landscaping feature wasn’t for the aesthetic benefit of pedestrians walking along the nearby path, but part of a plan to displace the homeless population that took shelter under the bridge.
So next time you’re walking down the street, take a closer look at that bench or bus shelter. It may be trying to change the way you behave.
More on the antihomeless spikes thing
man this is the most dystopian shit
so my boyfriend and I tried roleplaying the other day and we did the whole “professor and bad student who needs to pass” thing, only he wanted to be the professor, so I had to be the horny and failing student. I’m the valedictorian of my senior class of 400 and I have a horrible phobia of flunking, so when he whispered “you’re failing my class, you naughty girl” in my ear, I started crying and we had to stop
Reblog if you have mourned the death of a fictional character.
If you do not reblog this, you are in fact lying.
Hey, don’t you fucking scroll down
i think i dropped myself as a baby
the word bed is in shape of a bed this is amusing
smoking is gross and i won’t stop because i too am gross
I love Game of Thrones because sometimes its like:
but then other times its like:
The thing that sucks about mental illness is that if you aren’t depressed enough, suicidal enough, bad enough, nobody cares. Nobody cares until you reach their standard, and that standard is when your problem is bad enough to effect them
The amount of people who can relate to this makes me equally incredibly sad and immensely angry
in pokemon you can battle a cop
you can battle a cop in real life if you arent a weenie
THAT IS NOT THE INTENDED USE SIR
NOW THIS IS THE FUCKING SHIT THAT WOULD QUALIFY THIS YEAR AS THE FUTURRE
perfect for anal insertion
lets all just take a minute to appreciate the fact that everything that lives in the ocean lives in the fucking ocean and not on land with us
And Arya, well…Ned’s visitors would oft mistake her for a stableboy if they rode into the yard unannounced. Arya was a trial, it must be said. Half a boy, half a wolf pup. Forbid her anything and it became her heart’s desire. She had Ned’s long face, and brown hair that always looked as though a bird had been nesting in it. I despaired of ever making a lady of her. She collected scabs as other girls collected dolls, and would say anything that came into her head.