Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Fascinating crosswalk design makes shortlist for the Lexus Design Award

The Lexus Design Award finalists for 2015 were just announced and >crosswalk< from Japanese designers Naoki Kaminaka and Ryo Yamaguchi makes the top 12. The entries will be featured as either prototypes or presentations at the Lexus Exhibit at Milan Design Week, April 14–19, 2015. The finalist entries and judging committee comments can be viewed online.

From the press release:
The idea is a crosswalk design featuring arrows that guide pedestrians, thus allowing smoother crossing. It is simplistic yet innovative and could be implemented in cities around the world, particularly those looking to improve walkability and pedestrian traffic flows.

I like the arrows too, not so much for the way they may guide people more efficiently in each direction across the street, but because they provide an additional design element, juxtaposed across a traditional crosswalk design, presenting an additional cue to motor vehicle operators that they need to pay attention.

The designers describe the project:
Human senses subconsciously prompt people to notice arrow signs and also tend to deter them from walking against an arrow-indicated direction. Applying this sensation by way of an arrow-shaped crosswalk design causes pedestrians to be subconsciously induced to walk in the desired direction. Senses are not intended to make us do consciously what can be done subconsciously. If it is possible to stimulate the subconscious through design, then there is potentially no limit to what can be achieved. Even a small design change can produce a large effect.

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