Hostile Architecture

It’s not just smokers who are unwelcome.

I came across this today. It’s a paint that repels liquids, including urine.



I couldn’t help think of the numerous occasions when I’ve found myself in need of taking a leak, with not a toilet for miles.

The high-tech nano-paint – called Ultra-Ever Dry – was originally piloted by the car industry to keep dirt off vehicles.

But in Hamburg’s clubbing district, where local residents say the streets regularly end up like a ‘sewer’, activists found a novel new use for it.

They have now put up signs on walls across the area reading ‘do NOT pee here – we pee back’.

Manchester has suffered similar problems to Hamburg, particularly in the popular Northern Quarter, where drunk revellers frequently use doorways as urinals.

All it will succeed in doing is move the problem to a different doorway. And if all walls and doorways have the same coating, it’ll move it out into the middle of the road. The thing to do is to provide more public toilets.

It reminded me of the anti-homeless spikes in the news last year.

Boris Johnson has called for anti-homeless spikes outside a luxury block of London flats to be removed immediately, describing them as “ugly, self-defeating and stupid”.

The mayor of London urged the owner of the private block of deluxe apartments to remove the inch-high metal studs, which triggered outrage when a picture of them was posted online at the weekend.

He tweeted on Monday: “Spikes outside Southwark housing development to deter rough sleeping are ugly, self defeating & stupid. Developer should remove them ASAP.

“We’ve spent £34m on the likes of ‘no 2nd night out’ [which aims to ensure no one spends more than one night on the streets], reaching 3/4s of rough sleepers, but must do more. Spikes are simply not the answer.”

And the Camden bench:

It is called the Camden bench, after the local authority that originally commissioned the sculpted grey concrete seats found on London streets. The bench’s graffiti-resistant sloping surface is designed to deter both sleeping and skateboarding.

While not as obvious as the stainless steel “anti-homeless” spikes that appeared outside a London apartment block recently, the benches are part of a recent generation of urban architecture designed to influence public behaviour, known as “hostile architecture”….

In addition to anti-skateboard devices, with names such as “pig’s ears” and “skate stoppers”, ground-level window ledges are increasingly studded to prevent sitting, slanting seats at bus stops deter loitering and public benches are divided up with armrests to prevent lying down.

To that list, add jagged, uncomfortable paving areas, CCTV cameras with speakers and “anti-teenager” sound deterrents, such as the playing of classical music at stations and so-called Mosquito devices, which emit irritatingly high-pitched sounds that only teenagers can hear.

“A lot of defensible architecture is added on to the street environment at a later stage, but equally with a lot of new developments it’s apparent that questions of ‘who do we want in this space, who do we not want’ are being considered very early in the design stage,” says the photographer Marc Vallée, who has documented anti-skateboarding architecture.

“Who do we want in this space, who do we not want.”

Who do we want in our world, and who don’t we want?

There seems to be an ever-lengthening list of people to be Excluded From Our World. Smokers. Drinkers. Unsightly fat people. Homeless people. Teenagers. Skateboarders. Needless to say, there will also be drug addicts, drug dealers, hookers, buskers, jugglers, beggars, football (and in fact any ball game at all) players.

All are to be rudely pushed out of sight, and out of mind.


About Frank Davis

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20 Responses to Hostile Architecture

  1. Smoking Lamp says:

    What a dystopian future is unfolding! It’s Orwell on steroids.

  2. We’ve spent £34m on the likes of ‘no 2nd night out’ [which aims to ensure no one spends more than one night on the streets], reaching 3/4s of rough sleepers, but must do more. Spikes are simply not the answer.”

    Frank here in the states they don’t do anything really about them in fact they were usinh the Sarasota parks no smoking ban as a means of a vagrancy law of sorts,but the smoking ban lost in parks no because of bums in the parks smoking and uriniating but because of state pre-emption on tobacco.

    It seems in Cheery Old England or Anywhere else they toss millions at a problem that either doesn’t exist or does exist and do nothing for it. These so called shelters,why would they want to leave the freedom to lite up when they want on the streets to the screwed up nanny state rules of a shelter. I think Id Rather sit in one of Hitlers POW Stalags than live in todays utopian world of no freedom………

    Down in NOLA back in 1987 I think it was they bussed all the homeless out of thecity to Houston and then freshly paved only the popes travel plan from the airport to downtown………That’s was about the end of it for the Pope in NOLA………..

    BTW it appears New Zealand has also givin the quit line contactors the boot too just as ILLINOIS did.

  3. Lepercolonist says:

    Another example of hostile architecture is the disappearance of ash trays outside entrances. No smoking signs plastered everywhere but no ash trays upon entering a building. What do you do when you have a half-lit cigarette ? Then they complain of all the cigarette butts. It takes maintenance about 10 seconds to empty these outdoor ash trays. I think they removed them to further upset smokers.

    • I just toss em out the window driving or drop em and stomp em as always……….bio degradable they are…………..and the would be labelled a fertilizer by the FDA if they took the time to analyze the data and history of the butts…………

    • Rose says:

      I think they removed them to further upset smokers

      Nothing so simple, the twisted logic is delicious.

      Brace yourself.

      Ashtrays encourage smoking and make smoking look normal as they are only put there to cater for smokers.

      Therefore, if ashtrays don’t exist then neither do smokers.
      Sympathetic magic – install the ashtray and they appear.

      Warrington Borough Council takes sledgehammer to smoking habits
      October 2013

      “Public protection manager Pete Astley taking a sledgehammer to the ash trays outside the council offices at New Town House, supervised by executive board member for public protection Clr David Keane ”

      “Clr David Keane, the council’s executive board member for public protection said: “The council has a clear duty to promote public health and wellbeing, and also a legal duty as an employer to protect the health of employees.

      As part of this we need to make sure we don’t encourage or normalise smoking.”

      Delusional and far too late, smoking has been normal for 400 years, it’s their behaviour that is startlingly abnormal.

      • Yep we had a fire marshall order a courthouse to put the fire safety equipment back at all doors going into public buildings just because of lit materials…………worked perfectly because he was right and it doubly enforced the trash ordinance.

        • They tried the no smoking on the property BS but when tickets were issued along the interstate and people had to appear from other states an didn’t know the local ordinance the cities attorney told them even signage wasn’t enuf to be a forwarning of a law,they still speeded and were there anyway. So what good did the sign do. the threat of fire would still exist. The threat of speeding still exists…………you cant change what is always will be.

        • Ya I know that lawyer saw the futility of ban signage early on………..the fire marshall saw it too. Now we wait for the politicians to see the light also.

  4. Rose says:

    There is a new study out, this time on UKIP voters.

    It seems they are not the “the “left behind”; older, working class voters with few qualifications’” academics lead politicians and journalists to believe.

    New study points to UKIP’s support base being more middle class than was perceived

    “An analysis of data from the UK’s longest-running study of electoral behaviour has revealed how the bulk of UKIP’s support surprisingly comes from professional and managerial middle classes.”

    Working Class Votes and Conservative Losses: Solving the UKIP Puzzle

    Well all I can say is that the newspaper comment threads rebutting the latest anti-UKIP smear or misquote are generally excellent.

  5. A History of Social Engineering

    To understand how we have reached the beginnings of a trans-humanist era we must follow the roots of modern day social engineering. Such a practice has been applied for thousands of years, but it could be said that only in the last few centuries has modern man wrestled with, and understood, the finer subtleties of group manipulation on a social scale.

    If we follow the thickest branch of social engineering we will find ourselves in the year 1875 in a German town called Leipzig. During this time a relatively unheard of professor, Wilhelm Wundt, was putting together some ides and practices of psychology that would, unbeknown to him, shape the world in a way he may never have imagined. When professor Wundt created the worlds first psychological laboratory, psychology — and its study —- was not taken seriously by any reputable scientific community and was mainly the concern of philosophers who debated psychology and consciousness based upon theories and religious ideals. However, Wundt believed that the conscious mind could be broken down into constituent parts and studied, just like any other organ, and so, using a few simple practices, he set about studying the human mind by recording his subjects’ responses to basic stimuli.

    Wundt is considered by many to be the father of Psychology. Whilst he did not make any ground breaking discoveries of his own, he was able to bring together many thoughts and ideas that could be studied and demonstrated in a way that he considered practical and tangible. Wundt concerned himself with the breaking down of human psyche by studying elements of it in isolation to the complexities of the mind as a whole. As a result his work led him to conclude that Man’s will was a direct result of the stimuli he experienced, and not the result of conscious intent or collections of philosophy as was classically thought.

    Wundt was clear that he believed that Man was void of spirit and was merely the summation of his experiences and stimuli. Much like an animal, Man could be persuaded to do just about anything, given the right type of stimulation and experience(s).

    Wundt wrote ‘The Principals of Physiological Psychology’, which inspired many teachers and academics around the world, the most notable being G. Stanley Hall, who briefly spent time in the Leipzig Laboratory before becoming the first president of the Psychological Association and a prominent influence in child development; and James McKeen Cattell, the first professor of Psychology in the United States.

    These are but two names that were highly influential in bringing Wundt’s work to the States, influencing an education system which would later influence the British syllabus as well as the Russian syllabus during the Cold War.

    Wundt’s methods and conclusions have had a dramatic effect on the world, most notably in education where his ideas on training and development have been taught through almost every academic institution, in one form or another, in the western world. Modern education no longer relies upon teaching children how to think critically and independently, it now concentrates its efforts on training children to behave and react in a prescribed manner.

    B.F. Skinner, an American psychologist inspired by such works, developed educational methods in order to train children using a reward system, which can be seen in schools today in the form of rewards such as gold stars. Skinner coined the term ‘Operant Conditioning’, a process whereby desired behaviors can be reinforced through reward whilst undesired behaviors are punished to prevent their repeating. Such methods may seem obvious, since that is how we train animals to behave in a prescribed fashion, however such methods of education do not create free thinking, critical individuals which is a requisite for a free thinking, critical society, instead they produce more compliant, accepting members of a society more readily to comforming to a prescribed order, such as government rule. Unsurprisingly, Skinner believed that children should be reared by the state, to be trained from birth in order to behave in a unified manner, which was echoed in his novel ‘Walden Two’, published in 1948.

    It is through this method of ‘training’ that human behavior has been changed over time, simply though reward and punishment. Those that follow the prescribed path and ideals, as laid out by governments and high ranking think tanks, are successful in life, and those that go against the grain are ridiculed, alienated and often punished —- such as described in last weeks article concerning the Christian B&B owners who were fined for not allowing an un-married homosexual couple to stay in the same bed together.

    It was during this period in the 50‘s that another professor, Alfred Kinsey, published his book ‘Sexual Behavior in the Human Male’ which sought to wrestle human sexuality from its traditional principals of love and marriage. Kinsey’s book is just one example that demonstrates the initial beginnings of an agenda to undermine traditional family values. It cannot be stressed just how important the family unit is. A stable, loving, balanced family unit, sexually or otherwise, that is not tainted with violence or animosity but founded on love and compassion, is the principal foundation in any stable society. As children, we draw our identity, morality and strength from our parents; should this be imbalanced or absent in any way, then society will be unbalanced and lacking in compassion proportionate to the abuse that we, as individuals, suffered as children. Sexuality is no different.

    At roughly the same time that Kinsey was publishing his works designed to lay the foundations for sexual unions outside of traditional hetro-sexual marriage, one of the most infamous and far reaching social engineering organisations of our time was created.

    The origins of the Tavistock Institute can be found in the run up to the first World War in another early ‘human relations’ organisation called Wellington House, which was set up in order to manipulate the British public into supporting the war against Germany. Decades later, after the second world war, following its success in changing public opinion — as well as considerable funding from the Rockefeller Foundation —- Wellington House spawned the Tavistock Institute where the likes of Elliott Jacques, John Rawlings Rees and Wilfred Bion employed more sophisticated techniques.

    Undoubtedly one of the biggest contributors to the methodologies and techniques applied upon the unsuspecting public of the 20th and 21st Century was the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. Despite being deceased upon the official creation of the Tavistock Institute, Freud’s psychoanalysis of 20th century Man has been used at great length to create some of the most potent social engineering techniques of modern times.

    When Germany annexed Austria in 1938, Freud fled to London where he began work with a prominent neurosurgeon by the name of Wilfred Trotter. Although not a founding member, Trotter would become a key part in the spawning of the Tavistock Institute; it was Trotter who introduced Wilfred Bion to Freud’s ideas. Bion would later become a prominent member of the Freudian psychoanalysis movement in England, and play a large part in developing ‘Group Dynamics’, drawing upon the works of Freud and another world famous socialist: Gustave Le Bon (most famous for his 1895 work: The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind).

    Gustave Le Bon served as a great inspiration to the nephew of Sigmud Freud, Edward Bernays, as did Wilfred Trotter who wrote the book: Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War. We can see from the previous description above that these prominent characters knew each other directly and were indeed in lengthy conversations regarding psychoanalysis and herd mentality. We can only imagine the types of conversation that were had between these men, conversations which would ultimately help create and shape the methods of the Tavistock Institute, and thus the world.

    Bernays is perhaps the most renowned for developing techniques in order to control large groups of people and was the most prominent promoter of such methods in the United States of America, to such an extent that he has often been referred to as the father of Public Relations.

    Commenting on such techniques, Bernays once said, “If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it.”

    He called this method ‘engineering consent’ and he did this by manipulating political personalities and organisations, once admitting, “If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway.”

    This particular technique he called “opinion making,” and, despite it appearing to be contrary to an open and democratic system, this socially acceptable and legal practice is more commonly known today as lobbying.

    Lobbying in the 19th century was known as petitioning, and just about anyone could petition HM Government for a particular cause. Today, the Lobbying industry is worth billions and, to influence political decisions, one must be prepared to pay a considerable sum of money. Whilst Edward Bernays cannot be held responsible for this type of practice becoming so popular, it can be said that his technique of ‘opinion making’ is the hallmark in the practice of lobbying, for, if one can buy political ideologies in order to create statutes, one can ultimately profit from shaping society, its practices and culture.

    The Tavistock Institute has grown bigger and even more ambitious, following its success in applying herd manipulation techniques created by those named above. Through the application of propaganda, drugs, popular culture, media, film studios, music labels and educational programs and lobbying, the Tavistock Institute has shaped society, our culture and the way we respond to politics, wars and changes in behavior and practices; one of which has been to shape our society’s views on sexuality as discussed in the previous article.

    Sexuality has been a considerable target for these sorts of conspirators. Whilst such groups have sought to change our opinions on homosexuality and trans-genders with one arm, they have sought to turn man against woman with the other — most notably in the form of the ‘Women’s liberation movement’, which is a contradiction in terms since the movement has done more to degrade women than it has to liberate them.

    Following women’s liberation, we have more cases of harassment and rape, as well as sexually aggravated assault. Women work harder for a lower quality in life, and, whilst the media champion’s their independence, there are more single parent families than there has been recorded previously. Is it merely a coincidence that in a world of ‘girl power’ we have more lonely, broken families than we have ever had before? This fact is not due to women being inferior without men, or even to blame in any part, but simply that man and woman, through the guise of ‘women’s liberation, have been set apart by highly sophisticated, psychological techniques.

    The media has constantly reminded us of the differences between men and women, in order to maintain that division and to ultimately divide the family union, often trying to illustrate that one sex is better at something than the other, when by experience most of us would agree that the ability to execute something well is not gender specific.

    Cleverly placed ‘celebrities and personalities’ throughout media, popular culture, the entertainment industry and politics have been used to propagate opinions designed to disrupt the family unit. Often unknowingly, these pawns, acting on the promise of fame and wealth, work for institutions such as Tavistock in order to encourage naive and impressionable minds to alter their perceptions to what is packaged as a popular or fashionable opinion in order to slowly change traditional culture. In less than a century this technique has been used to change our opinions and perceptions of premarital sex and pregnancy, drugs, promiscuity, marriage, divorce, abortion, homosexuality, morality and the constitution. To oppose such ‘new ideologies’ is to be branded archaic or face ostracisation from friends and relatives.

    Most prominently these perversions have been arrived to under the guise of liberation and the support of the rights of a marginalised few. For those that argue that society is not being broken apart, but that we are being liberated from an archaic dogma that somehow holds humanity back, it might be suggested that we look at the symptoms of this ‘modern’ society that now pervade our societal vista in every direction we turn. One only has to look at the Pornography that litters our high streets in shops and windows; children that are playing violent video games that bring violence into the home; music artists that flaunt themselves like prostitutes, aimed at children and toddlers; and a court service which operates in secret to remove children from their families.

    These are but a few symptoms of a system that is not only failing society, it is contributing to its slow erosion by targeting the sanctity of the family. If we choose to believe that this is all happening by chance and that it is the result of a few happenstance actions carried out by a group of corporations acting independently, then we should perhaps consider that the people connected to the world’s most prominent think tanks such as the Committee 300, Chatham House, The Bilderberg Group, Commission on Foreign Relations, Tri-lateral commission and Tavistock Institute are advisors, directors, members and shareholders of the largest corporations in the world, all of which shape the world and culture we live in. Is it really such a stretch of the mind that these people might have private conversations between themselves in regards to how they can manipulate and control societies in order to benefit themselves? If the answer to that question is no, then perhaps we might consider what exactly it is that we are buying into when we use their products and services.

    • Wundt’s methods and conclusions have had a dramatic effect on the world, most notably in education where his ideas on training and development have been taught through almost every academic institution, in one form or another, in the western world. Modern education no longer relies upon teaching children how to think critically and independently, it now concentrates its efforts on training children to behave and react in a prescribed manner.

      • Commenting on such techniques, Bernays once said, “If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it.”

    • smokingscot says:

      @ Harley

      Saw on television today that Bill and Warren have signed up 150 billionaires to their “giving pledge”.

      Certainly they help “shape the world and culture we live in”.

      Unfortunately I only see something like 130 actually listed, so Warren’s people are either tardy with their listing or they ain’t got ’em yet.

      (Mouse over box gets photo). And yes Lord Ashcroft’s one of a handful from the UK.

      • I kinda got a feeling most of them wont be billionaires for very much longer……….

        • smokingscot says:

          Interestingly a certain Robert W. Wilson summed it up rather well. He at the time (he committed suicide at age 87) was immensely wealthy and when asked by Gates to join the club stated:

          “Your ‘Giving Pledge’ has a loophole that renders it practically worthless, namely permitting pledgees to simply name charities in their wills. I have found that most billionaires or near billionaires hate giving large sums of money away while alive and instead set up family-controlled foundations to do it for them after death. And these foundations become, more often than not, bureaucracy-ridden sluggards.”

          I can name a couple of dozen “foundations” that are little more than “bureaucracy-ridden sluggards”, mainly because they pump considerable sums into the Tobacco Control Industry.

          (Wouldn’t it be nice if one or more of them did something truly spectacular, like Howard Hughes, and do a modern equivalent of the Spruce Goose. Fly it once, quite by accident, then lose interest in it!! Brilliant!!)

  6. lleweton says:

    I haven’t been to London for years, so I don’t know what things are like now. But in the 30-odd years I travelled on the Underground I noticed the gradual but relentless disappearance of the loos in the transport system. I often felt sorry for tourists, traipsing around the town all day. London also compared unfavourably for public lavatories with some holiday towns and tourist centres around the country. As I recall, Stratford-on-Avon and Sidmouth were exemplary last time I visited. Even my small local market town has two sets of loos now, in an area much smaller than the big London suburb where I lived and where I can remember three public lavatories being closed – after the inevitable period of temporary closures, leading to their abolition. What are people supposed to do?

    • Edgar says:

      “What are people supposed to do?” This is the question that is never answered, whatever the topic that raises the question. Analytically, the answer appears simple: either people put up with the inconvenience, or they do something about it. The first option, of course, simply invites the bureaucrats and authoritarians to stick another boot in: the question doesn’t go away, and neither does the answer. In my opinion, for what it is worth, it is inevitable that the State will keep pushing until the people realise that their only valid option is the second one. ‘Champions of the people’ will emerge, and with great strife, the old tyrants will be neutralised, only to be replaced by the new ones and it all starts over again. Depressing, isn’t it?

  7. lleweton says:

    I agree. The pendulum eventually needs a push one way or the other. But we have to keep trying, and perhaps, overall, our politics here in the UK have made a better job than most over the centuries, much as I deplore current authoritarian trends.

  8. Smoking Lamp says:

    Well, the NOLA smoking ban came into force last night but as this Times-Picayune ( headline notes: “‘That battle is not over:’ New Orleans smoking ban braces for blowback,”

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