Title: Unpleasant Design & Hostile Urban Architecture
Context: When bad experience equals good design.
Synopsis: Most design should be devoted to making people’s lives intentionally better. No, that’s not a misprint. I purposefully did not use the opening phrase “All design”. Because, in very specific circumstances, design is wielded as a cudgel, not as a salve. “The hell” you say! Well, sorry, but it’s true. One person’s dream design can be another person’s design nightmare, and hence be considered a wild success! This is not in reference to taste or aesthetics, but rather regarding intentional behavior change where the party whose behavior is being effected is impacted negatively to the point of disuse through intent. You may want to lie down on this public bench and take a nap, but the designer who segmented the seating with dividers had other ideas. On occasion the designer’s job isn’t to create the optimal experience, just the one that prohibits one user group’s idea of an optimal experience. This is the design equivalent of the old entreaty for a user to please “don’t go away mad, just go away.”
Best Bit: “[U]npleasant designs are not failed designs, but rather successful ones in the sense that they deter certain activities by design.”

via 99percentinvisible.org