Toilet-less condos, London tube slide fails, and defensive designs

Hostile v.s. non-hostile

Defensive designs can be either hostile or non-hostile.

Armrests prevent good dreams. Photo by Timur Weber from Pexels.
  • Bike racks have been installed on sidewalks. These installations benefit bikers like me, so I’m actually glad to see them.
  • Rocks have been placed on road verges to prevent camping. They are fun for little kids to climb up and down, so I’ll give them a go, too.
  • Benches have been split into separate seats.
  • Seats have been replaced with lean-on bars.
  • Spikes have been installed outside of roofed shopwindows.
  • … and more
Photo by Anthony Tyrrell on Unsplash

Hostility aren’t mandatory

Many hostile designs can actually be replaced with non-hostile alternatives. For example, to deter skaters from grinding down your bench, instead of adding fixed protrusions to the surface, you can perhaps use a fictitious material. Rubber may be a good choice:

  • To skaters, your bench won’t be a smooth ride;
  • to normal users, though, your bench feels great to sit on.
    Of course, if you are trying to discourage people from lying on your bench, this is a bad solution.
Noticed those metal protrusions? They inconvenience skaters. Photo by Jean-Daniel Francoeur from Pexels.

Problem with Affordable Housing in China

Economists often have the most controversial designs. The toilet-less condos are an excellent example.

Photo by KJ Brix on Unsplash

Condos without toilets

To discourage such resells, economist Mao Yushi proposed toilet-less apartments: The subsidized buildings should omit in-unit restrooms; instead, just build a shared bathroom on each floor.

Photo by Mark Hang Fung So on Unsplash



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


Tech writer with creative analogies. Website: | Donate: