Recently, on the way home to Blackheath in the Blue Mountains, I had to change trains at Springwood. It had been a long, tiring day, but were there any seats on the platform? No, just a bloomin’ rail to prop myself against!
It made me think about public architecture on a wider scale, and how it’s increasingly perceived as hostile or exclusionary. Sometimes the idea is to avoid congestion by keeping us all moving, but more often it’s aimed against the homeless.
Retrospective hostile design; just hack a bit out of the middle of the seat.
As at Springwood station, seats are being replaced with metal ‘perching’ bars at bus stops around the world;
Makeshift seats are not to be used by the public. God forbid that anyone should sit on this little wall in the UK’s Reading…..let’s ensure they don’t.
One day we will end up with something like this art installation….. seating only for those lucky enough to be able to pay for the privilege;
On the positive side, my Mountains village of Blackheath has the right spirt. Why waste a wall?
Even better is this bench offering solar powered wi-fi and phone charging. Half a dozen were installed in London’s Islington in 2018. Now for the bad news. First up, there were problems over planning permission. Then the council decided that the seats might encourage vagrancy, or that thieves might target them to steal mobile phones. Sadly, they were removed.
GIVE ‘EM AN INCH AND THEY’LL TRY TO TAKE A MILE!
OK, you can sit, but you can’t lie down.
I was horrified when my local railway station tossed out all the perfectly good seats along the platforms.
Guess what the plan behind the ‘upgrade’ was? Dividers!
Oh look, let’s pretend the anti reclining angles in this stone seat in London’s Camden are for aesthetic beauty;
Definitely no sleeping under this road bridge! The brutalist design solution.
How ironic to use nature against humanity. Keeping people at bay with cactus filled alcoves outside a Spanish bank.
The kinder alternative – alcoves in buildings at the Blue Mountains at Katoomba. Is it so bad that these delightful people are making use of them?
‘KEEP OFF’ DESIGN IS FOR THE BIRDS TOO, MATE!
I know people will put up well reasoned arguments in favour of these design trends, but I’m just not convinced.