People will Use your Stuff for the Craziest Things

Roel M. Hogervorst

2020/07/23

I’m sitting in my living room, looking out over a small soccerfield outside. Years ago the municipality has put in two stainless steel mini goals. It is like a stainless steel cage with an opening.

It is obviously designed to be resistant to abuse, ‘hufterproof’ as we would say. You have to be very very motivated to destroy this goal. But its strength also leads to other uses. I regularly see children climbing the thing and sitting on top of it. This made think of other designs that have way more uses than just the one intended. Accessibility ramps on sidewalks are not just used by wheelchairs, but people transporting heavy goods on wheels, people with strollers and scooters.

Should you design things for multiple use cases, or can you even think of the things that people will do with your design?

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