ANTI-LIGATURE –Issues for Design -8

Post 614 –by Gautam Shah

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Anti-ligature products and processes are mainly used to stop someone from doing a hazardous act by tying, fastening or binding to something. It is a provision that discourages self harm or suicidal tendencies of a person under stress or with mental disorder. Anti-ligature means prevent people from causing self harm by attaching ligature to door handles, locks, grills, light fixtures, etc.

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Pediatric patient bed > Wikipedia image by Binodkpn

Abuses, of ‘self-harming’ nature occur with persons who may be ‘using it as a coping mechanism to relieve emotional pain or discomfort, or as an attempt to communicate distress’. Places where such ‘self-harm’ occurs, include homes, schools, care-homes, detention centres, prisons, hospitals and juvenile offenders’ remand homes. The means include using architectural components, hardware, clothes, adornments, ropes or linear elements for strangulation, cause cuts with sharp edges, jumping off a precipice (height related dangers), electrocution and drowning.

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Prison cell amenities > Flickr image by Global Panorama

Anti-Ligature is rather an unusual term. Ligature derives from Latin ligatura, from ligare = ‘to tie‘. A dictionary defines Ligature as:

  • a thing used for tying something tightly.
  • a cord used in surgery, especially to tie up a bleeding artery.
  • in music a slur or tie.
  • in printing a character consisting of two or more joined letters.

A ligature is defined as a ‘thing used for tying something with a cord‘ Cords of silk, gut, wire, or other materials have been used as tourniquet to control venous and arterial circulation for a very brief period of time. During surgery the blood flow is also stopped by pressure blocking the cut ends of arteries. (In surgical procedures minor bleeding nodes are also hot pinched -by burning the tissue, through a cautery –cauterization).

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Child-proof fence > Wikipedia image by I,Tony Wills

Anti-ligature Design is implemented for safety and security in jails, mental asylums, hospitals, children’s areas. Anti-ligature design is used for public spaces to prevent malicious damage to the property. It is used with reference to furniture, furnishings, utilities, facilities and amenities. Malicious use of architectural components, street utilities and furniture, public transport facilities, is a concern for all designers. The public misuse occurs with many intentions like: to misuse the elements, vent-out dissatisfactions through anger, use the extra ordinary reserve energies, occupy time in some activity or draw attention through behaviour. This is phenomenon common to both, developed and developing countries.

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Signage at Burra Bazar (Harrison st) and Strand road Calcutta India > Wikipedia image by Clyde Waddell

Anti-ligature is also increasingly used for ‘anti-vandalism’. Anti-vandalism strategies are required to prevent wilful or malicious destruction caused by removal or destruction of units or components from public or private property such as parks, bus stations, road sides or schools etc. Anti-ligature technology makes such entities no-removable.

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Knocked over dummy newspaper vendor in Munich > Wikipedia image by LepoRello

The acts of willful destruction of private and public facilities and amenities are also abuses. These are not intended for self-harm but physical changes, removal or destruction to parts and components at places such as parks, bus stations, road sides or schools etc. Anti-vandalism strategies are required to make such entities fixed (non -removable), temper-proof and non alterable.

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Water colour ART by John Orlando Parry ‘A London street scene 1835’ Wikipedia image

An anti-ligature product or a strategy is one that prevents a ligature from staying secure. The primary function of anti-ligature furniture is to deny anyone from using it as a means from which to attach anything, break it down to sharp-pointed edges, climb over to cause height related hazards, or inflict the parts on others.

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Wikipedia image through National Archives and Records Administration 548273

The design strategies for anti-ligature and anti-vandalism are to form a product of single material or through substantial synthesis of sub-items. The assembly joints and fixing zones are concealed or made inaccessible. Materials are non strippable, tear-able, breakable, or one can be cut or chipped off. Design elements like sharp corners or edges, apertures, punctures, grooved joints are avoided. Components that require different textures for visually hindered or for holding grips are created from (by way of embossing, engraving, etc.) the same body-material, while avoiding any applique treatments. Other methods of anti-ligature and anti-vandalism design include by removing access to harmful or harm-worthy items beyond reach. Mono colour and single texture items are less apparent and so less likely to attract attention.

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This is the 8 th article of 20 topics series on ISSUES for DESIGN

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STABILITY of BUILT FORMS

STABILITY of BUILT FORMS

Post 456

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Stability of a building is checked in terms the Physical condition, Structural integrity, and the stack-holders’ perceptions. The last factor is subjective, but it presents cumulative considerations of several participants. The Physical conditions are checked through the weathered conditions and user-related wear-tear to the building. Structural integrity ensures its capacity to stand-up in equilibrium, by defying, overcoming or consistently being with the gravity, safety and security as a place of habitation and in few instances as a long-lasting entity (of archeological relevance).

Ruined building

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Stability of buildings and other structures is an important factor during its lifetime and during construction, repairs-maintenance, alterations, renovations, extensions and demolitions. The stability is mainly related to the gravity disturbing the form. Other factors affecting the stability are the structure’s patterns of load transfer to soil, which could be as whole or local inadequacies. The integrity of the structure against lateral disturbing forces such as earthquake, winds and pressures of heavy blasts. The bearing of loads and their transfer modes, ultimately affect the stability of a building. Vibrations destabilize a structure. Stability of a structure is affected by sudden loading, point loading, and continuous vibrations. The disintegrations caused by these conditions enhance users related, wear-tear and effects of weathering.

Grand Coulee Dam Stability of gravity bearing form

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Tacoma narrows bridge collapse 1940s

Stability of a structure is perceived as its capacity to serve its functions under nominal (designed) load conditions. A stable structure has deformations that are recoverable, and within designed limits. Stable structure could be static or dynamic (like a car) but in equilibrium. A space ship in a no-gravity zone is affected when small perturbations that produce movement in the direction of force. It can continue to move, without missing its state of equilibrium.

ALASKA pipeline on slider supports to prevent buckling over a land fault

Change in geometry of a structure or structural components under compression causes buckling. Buckling is non-recoverable condition of structures’ geometry. Such changes destabilize compressive elements such as columns, walls, foundation base and pedestals and parts of beams.

Embankments Kumbhal Gadh fort Rajasthan India > Perception of safety and stability.

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SECURITY in BUILDINGS

 

Post 296 ⇒   by Gautam Shah  →

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A building is an enclosure, and every breach or break-point in that poses a hazard. Security in building is a concern of extraneous sources and due to the working of systems functioning in the interior of a building. It is the state of being or feeling secure. Security concerns arise when amenities or facilities require use of extra ordinary anthropometric and physiological capacities. This could be like a fast escape, opening a jammed door, negotiating by unusual means, etc.

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Art shop in High Street Armadale Wikipedia Image by Donaldytong

Openings, height related hazards, fires and other high energy exposures, biological infections, fast-moving entities pose security problems. In most cases situations become hazardous due to deficient design, misuse and ignorance. Security hazards occur due to malicious use, such as in prisons and facilities for mentally challenged patients.

Large Glass shop fronts -illuminated insides -lesser risk of break-in due to inward visibility

Windows of all types on exterior faces are security risk. Windows bring forth two sets of fears: someone breaking in through the window and someone or something falling out of it. A grill in the window frame provides protective cover for both the fears. The chances of forceful entry from outside reduce when a tall plinth and a high sill level are provided. A window placed on extreme outside face or with none or sloping ledges assures greater security. Security and strong rooms (for arms, ornaments, bank vaults) are placed away from the external edges, or have fewer, very small, or no openings.

Looking east along E Street NW at a portion of the dry, gravel-filled moat that surrounds the FBI building as a security measure

Glazing is a very fragile material and was avoided in domestic buildings for a very long time. A glazed window is as safe as the outside conditions are politically reassuring. The post-Industrial age saw that large glazed windows were a functional necessity in industrial plants, hospitals, railway stations and commercial buildings. The security assurance for glazed building was provided by better manned security management of the estates. Large housing and commercial estates began to have manned surveillance. Large glass shop fronts without iron grills were possible due to community awareness and common surveillance systems. Post WW II production of toughened and layered glass heightened the security assurance. Police all over the world prefer a see-through shop for security assurance. A house with light seen through a window at night is considered safer. Electronic surveillance systems now allow remote and automatic monitoring and so provide even greater security assurance.

Electronic surveillance

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ANTI-LIGATURE

Anti-ligature 

Ligature derives from Latin ligatura, from ligare = ‘to tie‘.

A dictionary defines Ligature as

  1. a thing used for tying something tightly.
  2. a cord used in surgery, especially to tie up a bleeding artery.
  3. Music a slur or tie.
  4. Printing a character consisting of two or more joined letters.

 

Anti-Ligature is rather an unusual term. It is used with reference to furniture, furnishings, utilities, facilities and amenities. Anti ligature products and processes are mainly used to hamper someone from doing a hazardous act by tying, fastening or binding to something. It is a provision that discourages self harm or suicidal tendencies of a person under stress or with mental disorder. Anti-ligature means prevent people from causing self harm by attaching ligature to door handles, locks, grills, light fixtures, etc. Anti-ligature is also increasingly used for ‘anti-vandalism’. Anti-vandalism strategies are required to prevent wilful or malicious destruction caused by removal or destruction of units or components from public or private property such as parks, bus stations, road sides or schools etc. Anti-ligature technology makes such entities no-removable. Continue reading