“Unsafe For Morons But Safe For Everyone Else”: 64 Of The Best Examples Of ‘Architecture For Adults’

Architecture and design are fascinating topics. There’s a seemingly never-ending discussion about the right balance between function and form, and we’ve recently written about the importance of ordinary beauty, as well as the disturbing trend of design homogenization. So naturally, we believe that aesthetics and artistic expression are definitely worth protecting. Here’s the issue though: should aesthetics trump safety?

To help you ponder this question, we’re featuring some of the very best posts from the r/ArchitectureForAdults subreddit (and a select few from elsewhere). It’s a niche online community that has a very unique perspective on the world. The members share photos and videos of truly gorgeous architectural and engineering designs that flirt with the line between safe and unsafe.

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Scroll down and upvote your fave pics! Let us know which of these designs wowed you the most… and which scared the bejesus outta ya! If you’re anything like me and have a not-so-subtle fear of heights and falling, then you might want to hang on to your hats, Pandas. You’re about to get a big dose of vertigo. Go on ahead, I’ll be right with you, I just need to collect myself for a bit.

Bored Panda got in touch with an urban planner and designer from Sweden to get her opinion about the r/ArchitectureForAdults subreddit. She was kind enough to share her thoughts about safety and security in public spaces, as well as why the sub’s tagline might not work in real life.

#1 “Stairs”

Image credits: Mod-Bait69

The Swedish urban planner and designer asked Bored Panda to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of her job but was otherwise happy to shed some light on the entire debate regarding safety and security. Bored Panda was interested to get her opinion as to where safety lies in the hierarchy of priorities for someone like her.

“Safety is self-evidently a top priority to an urban designer. I doubt this hierarchy is ever questioned besides the occasional self-centered architect and designer who de-prioritize safety in favor of an original design. However, if a space is to be usable and livable, at least a threshold of safety compliance has to be achieved,” she told us.

At the same time, the expert noted that there may be instances where governments might decide that, unfortunately, safety ‘should’ be overlooked for a “more cost-effective choice.”

“Each government establishes and enforces safety guidelines that the built environment must follow,” the expert told us, adding that the discussion then moves on to what safety entails to different governments and societies.

#2 Bruh

Image credits: abyigit

#3 You Don‘T Need To Be Drunk Anymore

Image credits: Zerfallsgesetz

“The concept of safety and security in urban design conversations usually primarily refers to crime prevention (for example, decent night-time lighting, CCTV cameras), transportation infrastructure safety ( traffic accident prevention, walkability), or more social aspects like livability (how the environment can foster a healthier and more inclusive society).”

According to the urban planner, small-scale objects like railings on a bridge or warning signs “usually follow straightforward building regulations and do not generate much debate.”

The expert stressed that the perception of whether or not something is ‘safe enough’ will differ from government to government and society to society.

#4 What Was Their First Idea, Stairs Made Made From Piles Of Rusty Nails?

Image credits: jonmpls

#5 Yes, It’s A Door

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#6 Indian Stepwells | The Construction Of Stepwells Is Mainly Utilitarian, Though They May Include Embellishments Of Architectural Significance, And Be Temple Tanks

Image credits: wikipedia_it

“Meanwhile, judging ethically, ‘safe enough’ cannot be achieved until there are absolutely no more traffic accidents and other types of injuries caused by the built environment. Therefore, an urban designer will always strive to achieve more safety.”

The urban planner and designer also added that she sees an issue with the tagline that the r/ArchitectureForAdults subreddit uses, about how only ‘morons’ would feel unsafe. “Adults, too, can suffer from clumsiness. Even intelligent adults are not safe from this curse.”

#7 A Footbridge With Knee-High Sides

Image credits: MaxPowerzs

#8 This 1930s Design Let You Hang Your Baby Over The Side Of A Building In A Cage

Image credits: Honeyontoast123

#9 Stairwell In A Hotel I Stayed In

Image credits: Hun10dog

At the time of writing, r/ArchitectureForAdults had exactly 3,761 members. We hope that the community grows and expands over time because the content they share is very interesting. It’s also good mental prep for when you go traveling abroad!

You can’t expect every single place to have the exact same safety standards that you’re used to. You have to focus and not wander about daydreaming when you’ve got tiny stone steps in front of you, railings that don’t even come up to your knees, and double-decker buses that you can just hop on by grabbing the pole.

From the perspective of r/ArchitectureForAdults, we shouldn’t have to sacrifice beauty and ingenuity for the sake of safety. The subreddit claims that all of these designs are “unsafe for morons but safe for everyone else.”

Though, personally, I feel like it’s ridiculous to have railings too low. Safety and beauty can coexist, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice one for the other, I feel. And, to be honest, just because a design is unique doesn’t automatically make it beautiful.

#10 Step Out Of A Bathtub Down A Flight Of Stairs, Anyone?

Image credits: TheLoneGinger9

#11 All These Houses Are Connected By A Pool

Image credits: Starlord2047

#12 Hope You Don’t Drop Anything

Image credits: IrishPubstar

Whatever your feelings towards safety, you can’t deny that there are certain minimalist trends sweeping the world. Designs are starting to look and feel homogenized. Not just in architecture and in corporate art but also in urban spaces, as well as corporate logos. Everything’s starting to feel a bit too functional, with less emphasis on the form.

Consumer psychology specialist Matt Johnson, a professor at Hult International Business School and Harvard University, very recently explained to us why we’re seeing a certain level of design homogenization, especially in terms of brand logos. He saw a few reasons for this trend that has led to fewer unique designs being used.

“The first is that as we move towards a more digital environment, there’s a need to make brand logos as legible and as easy to identify as possible. The consumer’s attention is strained even more in the online world, so logos can’t afford to be disfluent or challenging to process,” he told Bored Panda earlier.

#13 This Staircase

Image credits: whitae

#14 Oh No

Image credits: Chriss899

#15 Skyslide At OUE Skyspace In Los Angeles, CA | An Outdoor Glass Slide That’s Attached To The Exterior Of The U.S. Bank Tower. The Skyslide Is 45 Feet Long, About Four Feet Wide And Made Entirely With 1.25-Inch Glass. Visitors Glide From The 70th To The 69th Floor. Now Permanently Closed

Image credits: wikipedia_it

“Secondly, there also may be a growing realization of the ‘fluency effect’: the relatively robust behavioral science phenomenon that the more fluent a font is written in, the more likable and trustworthy the message. As more brands become familiar with this phenomenon, they may want to test new, more fluently written logos to capitalize on this effect,” the professor told us.

#16 On The Floor Of Doctor’s Office. If You Trip On It, You’re In The Right Place

Image credits: Chriss899

#17 Construction Of The Hindenburg- Yes, Those Are Ladders

Image credits: TheBirdman532

#18 Almost Pulled A Michael Scott While Delivering Groceries Today

Image credits: Samxvalle

“While this logo trend is seen across a wide array of industries, there may be only one or two within each industry that may make this change, since if everyone did, they would not be differentiating as well. There may be a broader implication of this: if companies begin to recognize that consumers, at least in digital environments, prefer more basic logo designs, brands will rush to be the first in their industry to do so to plant their flag first. While all brands want to be at the razor’s edge of consumer preferences, no brand wants to be seen as the copycat of their competitor,” Professor Johnson noted.

#19 I Always Wanted A Treehouse

Image credits: deadburgerboy

#20 Emergency Exit Looks Like Emergency By Itself

#21 The Storseisundet Bridge In Norway

Image credits: petershaw_

“I imagine the general trend will persist, especially in the digital environment. If it turns out to be the case that more basic, legible logos are more suitable for online preferences, we may also move to a system where each major brand has at least two distinct brand logos: one in the digital world, and one for the physical world. This is already happening to a certain extent since many brands that have gone to a more basic font haven’t completely jettisoned their originals and retained them for specific uses,” the consumer psychology specialist said.

#22 These Urinals Where You Can Look Out To The Street. Windows Aren’t Tinted At All So You Can Also See In. Even Has A Sink On Top Of Each One

Image credits: Starlord2047

#23 I Don’t Even Know Where To Begin

Image credits: drillbit16

#24 These Obstacles Are Almost Invisible On The Bike Lane

Image credits: reddit.com

“Since branding is fundamentally about differentiation, there will be an upper limit to how much brand logos can homogenize and go together on a single dimension. It’s great to adapt to new consumer preferences, but if every brand does that in the same way, it fails to differentiate in a significant way. This is why I think there is a ‘race’ within each industry to be the first to do so, which then makes things more difficult for their competitors: should they persist in making their logo more basic, at the risk of looking like a copycat? Or should they cede that positioning and devise a way to differentiate by some other means?” he mused.

#25 The Cannonball Loop Waterslide, A Slide So Dangerous It Was Shutdown Almost Immediately After Opening

Image credits: metricrules

#26 What Kind Of Stairs Is That Even????

Image credits: Lolammo

#27 The Statue Of Liberty’s Torch, New York, NY

The torch has been closed since the “Black Tom” explosion of July 30, 1916, which was one of the largest acts of sabotage to our nation prior to the event of pearl harbor on December 7, 1941

Image credits: wikipedia_it

Professor Johnson said that there are various ways that brands can differentiate themselves from the competition, aside from their logos. “For example, brands may double down on fluent soundmarks, tighter taglines, or speaking product features that are trademarked and exclusive. In this way, we may see a much richer adaptation to the online world, which goes above and beyond the legibility of brand logos.”

#28 Wavy Stairs To Make Going Downstairs More Fun

Image credits: mugbee0

#29 Just Don’t Swing It Side To Side Too Much

Image credits: TraumaticAcid

#30 Accident Prone

Image credits: HibbityBibbityBop

#31 Adult Transportation

Image credits: pinkflyingpigs

#32 Mural On The Back Of Acme Incorporated

Image credits: jabbett

#33 In The 20’s, Fiat Had A Test Track On Top Of Their Production Warehouse

Image credits: piefordays

#34 Let Me Show You Around The House.. Wait Don’t Go There!

Image credits: depressionandregret

#35 Somebody Told Me To Post This Here

Image credits: IsItKandar

#36 This Architect Accidentally Built A Death Ray That Melts Cars And Fries Eggs… Again

Image credits: badsalad

#37 Train To Machu Picchu With A Balcony

Image credits: robotevil

#38 Internal Staircase For People Who Like Every Trip To Be An Adventure, And No Longer Have Children

Image credits: MightyTribble

#39 Hudson Yards Vessel, In New York City, NY | Often Debated On Its Construction For Being Too Easy For Imbeciles To Jump/Fall Off

Image credits: wikipedia_it

#40 God Forbid You Have A Baby Or A Little Dog

Image credits: NeogeneRiot

#41 Imagine Going Down On These Stairs

Image credits: burcbuluklu

#42 This Infinity Pool

Image credits: DaPizzaDoctah

#43 Meteora Monasteries, Greece

Image credits: fleebinflobbin

#44 I Can See Many Kids Falling

Image credits: DoritoPup

#45 Paternoster Lifts At Prague City Hall

Image credits: robotevil

#46 Couldn’t Get A Good Seat? Risk Your Life Trying To Watch The Game!

Image credits: tdalbert

#47 Hammock Bathtub

Image credits: LagoonRoom

#48 The Hanging Temple In China, And It’s Thigh High Guard Rails

Image credits: Komex_

#49 Montagne De Bueren Staircase In Liège, Belgium | In 2013, It Was Ranked As #1 On The Huffington Post’s List Of Most Extreme Staircases

Image credits: wikipedia_it

#50 Ponte Dei Salti A Bridge With Knee-High Sides In Ticino (Southern Switzerland)

Image credits: AimlessCK

#51 Massive Retractable Windows On This Train In Switzerland

Image credits: SirConnorMa

#52 Looks Too Easy To Slip And Fall

Image credits: desraR

#53 Window That Turns Into A Balcony

Image credits: TheGr8Canadian

#54 It’s Fine, Nothing To Worry About

Image credits: The-Doulingo-Owl

#55 Zen Yikes

Image credits: ricochetblue

#56 This House Near Goose Creek, Alaska

Image credits: Cw2e

#57 Night At The Drive In

Image credits: illegal_brain

#58 They Put A Trampoline In The Sky

Image credits: reddit

#59 Guardrails? We Don’t Need No Stinking Guardrails

Image credits: PersnickityPenguin

#60 Autobahn, Germany’s Highways, Have No Speed Limits

Image credits: thoxo

#61 1880 Switchback Railway At The Hotel Arcadia, Santa Monica

Image credits: NaotoNakada

#62 Skylight For Adults

Image credits: bp332106

#63 Just Hop On And Off The Back As The Bus Slows Down

Image credits: InterestingComputer5

#64 Spiral Staircase In The Middle Of The House

Image credits: MemberBerryLarry

Source: boredpanda.com

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