Vocabulary: Hostile Architecture

Hostile architecture

Architecture designed with intent to combat a problem to the user/s, or which the user/s deem a hostile condition.

Examples you see include:

  • Spikes in roof beams to deter pigeons from nesting there
  • Arm rests at the ends of short benches or in the middle of longer ones to deter people from sleeping there
  • Blue lights in public or retail bathrooms to deter drug use cause the blue light makes it harder to find veins for needles
  • Bright white stairs to public buildings to make people who might sleep there really visible
  • Waterproof paints for boats used on buildings around night clubs where people might pee outside in alleys or the back, away from sight of most others, only to have their pee splash back on them

Once you know the concept, you can see it in many more places you might not have recognized, as mentioned in the podcast below. Only a few examples above were in the podcast. The rest I thought about once enlightened to the concept!

The podcast, below, though, is one of THE BEST podcast episodes I have ever listened to, having listened to over 500 now. It’s not only eye opening, but ridiculously hilarious for real life developments (not jokes). I would highly recommend it!

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