What's behind the rise in defensive design?
People in central London sit on one of a number of ‘Camden Benches’ dotted around the city. It is what artist Stuart Semple calls a “textbook example” of “hostile design”. When US$20,000 worth of studs were installed on the surface of a fountain in a downtown Toronto park in 2017, the upset felt by some locals was tempered by a general acceptance that the measure – designed to prevent damage caused by skateboarders – was necessary. The studs weren’t overtly antagonistic – at least not compared