Well, there’s your problem then

Fed up living in a world designed by and for men, 80s design activists Matrix declared war on every urban obstacle in their way. And their impact is still being felt today

When Le Corbusier developed his proportional system Le Modulor in the 1940s, the great architect had in mind a handsome British policeman. His system would go on to shape the entire postwar world, dictating everything from the height of a door handle to the scale of a staircase, all governed by the need to make everything as convenient as possible for this 6ft-tall ideal man.

If you allow the French to be involved in planning anything then of course it’s going to be a screw up. Vide EU, euro, etc……

30 thoughts on “Well, there’s your problem then”

  1. I fail to see why a 5′ 2″ woman cannot use a door handle designed for a 6′ man. Bearing in mind the growth in average heights in Europe, Le Corbusier’s model seems quite sensible.

    Like women who moan about big smartphones, while refusing to buy smaller ones.

  2. Creating buildings for real humans sounds like a sensible idea to me. Doing the opposite is why we ended up with so many hideous concrete towers that nobody liked living in and that had to be demolished after 30-40 years.
    To be honest, there’s really no excuse for not doing it.

  3. Are there any great French thinkers left who haven’t been thoroughly debunked? Foucault, Derrida, Le Corbusier: they all made big waves in their fields, until a couple of generations later when the practical consequences of their ideas turned out to be terrible.

  4. Le Corbusier was born Swiss. He became a French national when he was 43. Of course, he may have self-identified as French before making it official.

  5. Bloke in North Dorset

    Are there any great French thinkers left who haven’t been thoroughly debunked? Foucault, Derrida, Le Corbusier: they all made big waves in their fields, until a couple of generations later when the practical consequences of their ideas turned out to be terrible.

    Which is hay only future generations can bestow the title “great” on someone, be they thinkers, scientists, king, queens etc..

  6. 80s design activists…..

    80’s design has ….several synonyms.. None of them include “useful” , “practical” , or for that matter “palatable”. It’s usually summed up as “Welll… We thought it was a good idea at the time..”.

  7. Kitchen worktops are uncomfortably low for men of average height.
    So the little lady knows where to go, right?

  8. “Matrix founding member Anne Thorne carries a pushchair up the steps of a subway in Aldgate, east London”

    that’d be a lightweight folding pushchair designed by Owen Maclaren for mummies and their babies.

  9. the need to make everything as convenient as possible for this 6ft-tall ideal man

    The scientific name for a man under 6ft 1 is a “halfling”

    Are there any great French thinkers left who haven’t been thoroughly debunked? Foucault

    I especially hate that craven, cross-eyed, froggy pervert. Henry V did nothing wrong.

  10. MC said:
    “Like women who moan about big smartphones, while refusing to buy smaller ones.”

    Are there any small smartphones? I want one to go in my waistcoat pocket and I can’t find one (I want something about the size of my RAZR flip-phone, but no-one seems to do anything that small). Suggestions welcome.

    And I had assumed that the fashion for larger phones had been driven by women who can put them in their handbags. I thought small gadgets tended to be a male thing.

  11. The irrelevance and narcissism of modern ‘Progressivism’ continues. Despite their screaming that the West is the most racist, misogynistic etc society in history, having to raise your hand a few inches to use a door handle is a key issue.

    Rhetoric vs Reality. They are fighting over scraps these days.

  12. that’d be a lightweight folding pushchair designed by Owen Maclaren for mummies and their babies.

    My sister wrecked several of them. It was the only way she had of getting the calor gas bottle back from the garage on the corner.

  13. RichardT,

    Same here. You can pick up new old stock phones with small screens as I have but then the software is out of date and latest apps won’t run.

  14. RichardT – May 19, 2021 at 8:53 am

    I thought small gadgets tended to be a male thing.

    I don’t think that you’ll find many men who’ll admit to having a small “gadget”.

    🙂

  15. Male policeman, eh?

    To even things up a bit, why don’t they have more voice recordings and public announcements in that hard-boiled lesbian nasal whine that female coppers all adopt?

  16. @Roué le Jour

    They are amazing, women. The complete inability to think outside the box. There’s trolleys for gas bottles. You can pick up a basic one for under £20. Probably sold in the shop she gets the gas.

  17. Designers are the enemies of design. Most stuff is the result of an evolutionary process. Of the meeting of what people want things to do with the restrictions of manufacturing it for a price they can afford.
    One tried to use a scythe some cvnt had “designed”. The shape of a scythe has about 4000 years of experience behind it. This one was a surefire way of removing one of the scyther’s feet.

  18. “…but then the software is out of date and latest apps won’t run.”

    On the positive side, my antique third-hand iPhone won’t run the NHS tracking app…..

    ;¬)

  19. On a device the size of the Razr, theres’s always the Razr… the new one I mean. Half as wide again as the original, but almost identical folded height and depth.

  20. I don’t think it’s cheap though…

    a very quick search says its about £1200. 1200 quid for a phone. Madness

  21. Agree on the phone front. What is considered ‘small’ now use to be considered a phablet and “comically huge to the point of shame”: https://www.wired.com/2012/02/samsung-galaxy-note/

    In parallel the price of a ‘mid-range’ phone has shot up into the realms of what was once premium territory (even after taking inflation into account).

    There seems to be a market of people who want to keep phones in pockets, or use them one handed (particularly those with smaller hands) that has just been abandoned. I can’t work out if this is truly due to market demand, or designers who don’t get how some sections of the market actually use the devices.

  22. @RlJ
    The gas bottle trolleys go back to about a week after they started putting gas in the bottles. The design principal, the sack-barrow, at least to the Romans.

  23. “that’d be a lightweight folding pushchair designed by Owen Maclaren for mummies and their babies.”

    Aye, and the photo is posed too.

  24. The downside of building doors too tall (within reason) is that you may have to reach slightly higher to grasp the handle. The downside of building doors too short is that you crack your head on the way in. Better to err on the side of tall.

    Disclaimer: I’m the ideal height of √π m

  25. The Meissen Bison

    Steve: Henry V did nothing wrong.

    Yes he did, he died too soon and his son was a weed.

  26. Bloke in North Dorset

    On the positive side, my antique third-hand iPhone won’t run the NHS tracking app…..”

    “Have you checked in the NHS app?”

    “Yes”.

    Is a bit of a standing joke in our local, it ranks alongside agreeing you’ve read the Ts&Cs for a web service in our local.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *