99% Invisible: Unpleasant Design

Jan 28, 2018

Benches in parks, train stations, bus shelters and other public places are meant to offer seating, but only for a limited duration. 

Many elements of such seats are subtly or overtly restrictive. Arm rests, for instance, indeed provide spaces to rest arms, but they also prevent people from lying down or sitting in anything but a prescribed position. This type of design strategy is sometimes classified as “hostile architecture,” or simply: “unpleasant design.” [...]