China escalates the war on jaywalkers with automated shouting laser/squirtguns tied to motion-sensors

Chinese authorities hate jaywalkers and they've decided to use technology to end the practice; in Shenzhen, jaywalkers are identified with facial recognition and sent threatening texts while their faces are displayed on oversized nearby LED screens; in Daye, Hubei province, shouting robotic squirt-guns target and soak anyone who attempts to walk into an intersection against the lights. Read the rest

The father of the most hostile piece of street furniture in world history explains why he thinks he's right to make life harder for homeless people and socializing kids

Dean Harvey is the co-founder of Factory Furniture, the company that created the Camden Bench, a piece of street furniture designed to stop anyone from using it for anything except sitting very briefly; it is the nadir of the "Unpleasant Design" movement, a bizarre response to rising homelessness and hostility to children in public spaces, in which cities and private companies try to shove the problem out of sight by making street furniture as inhospitable as possible. Read the rest

How landscape architects fight the last war while designing against mass shootings

Landscape architects are increasingly in the business of designing spaces that are resistant to mass shootings, terrorists driving their cars into crowds and other forms of murderous, technology-assisted rampages. Read the rest

Even by North Korean standards, the DPRK's Ullim tablet is creepily surveillant

The Ullim Tablet is the latest mobile device from North Korea to be subjected to independent analysis, and it takes the surveilling, creepy nature of the country's notoriously surveillant Android devices to new heights of badness. Read the rest

City of Paris deploys "anti-refugee boulders" to prevent camping while waiting for space at a humanitarian center

The city of Paris has installed "anti-refugee boulders" beneath a highway overpass in Porte de La Chapelle in a bid to stop Syrian refugees from sleeping in the flyover's shelter while they wait for space to open up at a nearby humanitarian relief center operated by Emmaus solidarité. Read the rest

Unpleasant Design: design that bullies its users

Selena Savić and Gordan Savicic (previously) have published Unpleasant Design, their long-awaited book on "design that bullies its users" -- that is, devices, street furniture, tools and products designed to control humans. Read the rest

Berlin workshop tomorrow on "Unpleasant Design": urban design that bullies its users

Artists Selena Savić and Nikola Korać are continuing their excellent work on Unpleasant Design witha €20 workshop in Berlin on November 12 (tomorrow!). "Unpleasant Design" is Savić and Korać's name for design elements that are intended to be unpleasant for human beings in order to control their behaviour (for example, park benches with rigid handles that make it impossible to lie down). Read the rest