Good Designing: Rethinking Railings

SONY DSCGood designers think out of the box, even with small details.

Some answers to design considerations are just too routine (placing railings is one of them). In dealing with a situation already encountered before, some are quick to reuse solutions instead of pondering for more effective ones. Let’s have a case study.

“You’re designing a  house on steeply sloping terrain.  For one reason or another, you end up with an open decked space overlooking a magnificent view. However, the deck terminates at a dangerous cliff; safety of the user is of utmost importance.”

A common design move to respond to this would be to place a railing at the edge of the deck. While this certainly deals with the issue of safety, look at its other implications.

If the user would want to kick back on a chair and enjoy the view, think of how the railing would spoil the experience. Chances are, the top member of the railing is directly blocking your horizon.

Consider a different approach to this problem.

Railing vs Reflecting pool

One ingenious design move would be to incorporate a shallow reflecting pool terminating at a strip of shrubs.

Think about it. Which of the 2 is more effective? Innovative? Which one shows that you’re thinking like a true designer?

You decide.

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