Can you design your way out of crime?

A lot has been made of the Design Council’s recent suggestion that good design can cut crime. We all know the environment effects how we all behave, so why not shape it, so goes the argument, to deter wrongdoing? There area a lot of good ideas here. Such as a set of excellent design case studies such as Bikeoff (above): simply a bicycle stand that makes it easier to lock you bike and harder for thieves to nick it.

The Design Council is promoting lots of stuff about participatory design where the youth get to help design there own gadgets but there’s a paradox here too. There’s the vanity of owning the latest gadgets to contend with. The biometric locks I’m a lot less sure about. As my friend Rob Van Kranenburg has pointed out, there’s something scary about connecting biometrics to devices that connect you to networks like the internet.