Hostile architecture is one of the cruellest things to develop from late capitalism. Hostile architecture is defined as elements of "design" that are implemented to prevent people from being able to stay in one place for too long.
It is directly targeted at homeless people, with the aim being to stop them from being able to rest or shelter in public places. It is harsh, cruel, and unfair--no one deserves to be homeless, and cities should be supporting these people, rather than adding to their misery.
Examples of hostile architecture include benches with arm rests in the middle (stops people from being able to lay down) and spikes on the ground (to prevent people from being able to shelter). Scroll down from some real-life examples of these, and, try to identify and challenge these in your own neighbourhoods.
More anti homeless spikes....so much for community spirit pic.twitter.com/NOoariaEYd— Ethical Pioneer (@ethicalpioneer) June 7, 2014
When you’re inclusive but still hate the poor. pic.twitter.com/WB1kTuxXkb— Isaac Azuelos (@isaacazuelos) May 12, 2018
"Les pieux de pierre sont impressionnants. Taillés en forme d’obélisque, ils sont installés sur un site privé du...Posted by Dégustation de Bon Sens Liège on Thursday, 4 October 2018
Here are a few more (less ironic) examples of the same sort of exclusionary design from around my neighbourhood. Most of these are deliberate choices by the city. pic.twitter.com/fqEtbAHI0y— Isaac Azuelos (@isaacazuelos) May 14, 2018
How it started How it’s going pic.twitter.com/2M7MiSzxsQ— Zack Kopplin (@ZackKopplin) October 16, 2020
I wonder how much money was wasted to replace perfectly fine benches w hostile architecture at Frankford Transportation Center pic.twitter.com/RfdbQKh422— thomas (@ThomasDavidenko) October 18, 2020
Sitting pretty - @LFArchitecture and @networkrail have unveiled 5 benches by architects & designers at London’s key railway stations. These by Hylemo & Ai Build; The United Suburbs; Nick Tyrer with Victoria Philpott; & Atelier la Juntana. Unpictured: Local Collective Studio pic.twitter.com/RqbZ4HbuZc— 𝔻𝕒𝕧𝕚𝕕 𝕋𝕒𝕪𝕝𝕠𝕣 (@Davidntaylor) October 13, 2020
Please, if you have happen to be in a position where you are designing or voting on "design" elements for a neighbourhood, think about the homeless neighbours, too. Housing should be a basic human right; but until then, at least let them have access to shelter--and benches that you can lay down on.
seems a little extreme pic.twitter.com/Boliaj3yXR— salt-n-peppa pig (@sophsa) October 18, 2020