October 3rd, 2004

krazy koati

It's enough to make you laugh

What, exactly, was wrong with faucets that architects for public spaces like malls reject them? As far as I can see they're perfectly good, well-proven, technological solutions to the challenge of giving people a supply of water with which to wash hands and possibly face. Even button-triggered, timed faucets provide water fine. Why reject them?

This pique is prompted by an Orchard Road mall designed by some trusting soul who never noticed the fantastic technologies of 1950s General Motors shorts were generally impractical. It's not enough that he used infrared triggers for the water, guaranteeing one has to keep waving for one chance in three of getting a brief stream of water not aimed anywhere near the hands; he also set infrared triggers for the soap, for one chance in three of a tiny squeeze of soap; and for the hot air hand dryers. No great loss there, since air dryers don't dry hands, but still.

All these dispensers are hidden under an aluminum cover, so that there's no hint of where the faucet, the soap, or dryer are, except for evenly spaced imprinted icons, vaguely lined with the dispensers. It's designed as a trough, rather than separate sinks, so all this is at the lowest acceptable level; the sink's not quite at my knees, but they're trying.

It's so needlessly difficult and ugly I know the architect got an award.

Trivia: An extinctospectrophotopolariscopeoculogyrogravokinetometer was carried by Scott Carpenter's Mercury capsule, Aurora 7. Source: For Spacious Skies, Scott Carpenter and Kris Stoever.

Currently Reading: The Black Cloud, Fred Hoyle.