WARNING: I’ve hardly posted anything these last two weeks. I’ve been working long long days for a difficult client. So, there hasn’t been a whole lot of interestin’ readin’ here lately, and I’m about to talk about doors. The doors of Singapore.

In the US, Doors are usually clearly labelled “Push” or “Pull”. This seems straightforward enough, but often the handle design suggests a particular (and contradictory method). This is where it gets problematic. A door clearly labelled “Push”, for example, might have a handle that silently shouts “Pull”, and vise versa. In Europe, this is especially common for some reason.

One thing Singapore has figured out is that it shouldn’t matter. Most swinging doors here open either way. I love this. It’s the little things.

For some reason it makes me think of a recent Straits times piece about a traffic study commissioned in the Netherlands. Basically it demonstrated that cities whose laws favor neither vehicles nor pedestrians (i.e. every man for himself) have lower incidents of pedestrians hit by cars. I’ve been saying for years that it’s precisely because of the pedestrians-first laws of San Francisco that so many pedestrians get hit by cars.

OK. That seems really off-topic, now that I’ve written it.

Anyway, back to doors. Glass is big here. Singapore, a city of new hotels and shopping malls, is a city of glass and steel. The problem this poses is that, often, as you approach what you believe to be the entry point of a building, no part of the all-glass facade looks any more like a door than any other part.

So you slow down and sort of weave back and forth until something automatically slides open. Sometimes, however, the glass is so clean that even when you hear it slide open, you still can’t be completely confident you won’t face-plant into plate glass.

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