How inclusive design and accessibility can make a difference with everyday products.

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Leaning Bar at the 110 Subway Station

Have you seen these new benches at recently renovated subway stations in New York City?

They’re called leaning bars and they were installed by the MTA as part of the initiative to redesign stations for the 21st century. Instead of installing more benches, the MTA installed leaning bars in various renovated subway stations around the city. Subway riders who wish to use these new leaning bars while waiting for their train, will not be able to fully sit but rather lean on them and take some of their weight off their feet.

If they sound inconvenient to you, that’s the point. In fact, these leaning bars are designed with inconvenience in mind. They are designed to allow you to get some rest without getting too cozy. This restrictive design is called defensive design. The goal of defensive design is to control behavior and limit the ways an object or space can be misused. …

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