Hostile Designs

Hostile Designing


There are various types of designing, some may be suitable, helpful and humanized while others can be confusing, awkward inconvenient. A common example of un-humanized designs would be Norman Doors, everywhere around the cities. However, there might be some designs that are designed to discourage or restrain people's behavior on purpose, for instance, benches without backrests, and those designs are commonly defined as Hostile Designs.


Hostile design is a modern design trend mostly used in large cities, in which public spaces are formed or designed to discourage people from using them in a way unwanted by the owner. Hostile designing is a meaningful example of endeavors to counter antisocial behavior.


They're also recognized as defensive architectures, hostile designs, unpleasant designs, or defensive urban designs.


People hardly take notice of them, as we scarcely ponder about the city perceiving different design styles and interpreting the purpose designers incorporated.

This informational page includes the design's purpose and effects.




Spikes on a bridge to prevent people from sitting on it

This design trend is based in every corner around modern cities 



Once it comes to a modern design trend, it is no doubt that people are going to question the purpose of it, and the first answer you're going to get is probably dominating immature actions publicly. A defensive designed architecture determines the feeling and actions of us human beings. suggested that public lighting is a typical example of hostile design, its fixtures tend to make us feel more secure at night and support us navigate through the city besides reducing crime rates. Surprisingly, hostile designs seem "invisible", psychological studies proved that our behaviors are altered by these designs without us noticing them, this showed how powerful the design is. 


Hostile Designs are forms of architectural design whose features attempts to dispose of This design trend has hugely affected our daily lives. The beneficial effects include:

  • Avoids Skateboarders

  • Prevents Public Urination

  • Deters Loitering

  • Inhibits Littering

  • Drives Economic Development (City lights encouraging more people to spend time outside at night)

  • Reduces Crime Rates (Especially blue public lights that produce a calming effect)

  • Withdrawing Homeless (Very arguably to be a negative consequence)


Although hostile designs might sound like a recent aspect and the origin of the term is unknown. According to, the so-called Hostile Architecture had been used in England in the late 19th century such as Anti-Urination Devices and stones filling out the corner of buildings. Such record suggested that architectures with a purpose to control people's behaviors had been used a long time ago although the trend inspired more and more architects in the past few decades

New York City

As one of the most popular cities in the world, New York City is filled with some of the best architecture designing in the world. However, hostile designs are a huge part of the architectural designs in New York City

© 2019 By Ray Cheng

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