Pant-ripping train chairs

Sometimes people who design buildings, furniture, cars etc. are surprised by some of the unforeseen design flaws. We, for instance, recently had to purchase a new metal bed-frame because the free one that came with the new bed we bought made this sporadic clicking noise all throughout the night. I don’t know what put me more on edge, the clicking noise — or waiting for the next cadre of clicks to start-up.

Still, I understand that sometimes someone overlooks things when creating something. And that makes sense. But perhaps the least forgivable design flaw that I’ve seen or heard about recently was reported in the NY Times today: seats on the M.T.A. trains in New York regularly rip people’s clothes.

In fact, the M.T.A. has paid out over $100,000 in rippedĀ pant/skirt reparations. Now, I’m no design expert, and sure we can understand the designer who puts the car radio knob out of reach of the driver or something, but shouldn’t the first thing you be thinking when you design a seat be: will this harm the person sitting in it and/or destroy all their clothing?

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