John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
The fist-shaped crosswalk activator begs you to give it some love.
Want to cross the street with authority? Try using the “Walkbump,” a crosswalk button you activate by pounding it with your meaty fist.
Designer Alfredo Adan Roses made silicon molds of his hand and recently epoxied them to crosswalk poles around Los Angeles. To judge from video footage, people were quick to bond with the artificial fists, knocking them righteously as if they’d just downed a Jager bomb. (Whether or not the buttons actually do anything is another question.)
“Crossing the street at the crosswalk has now become a fun thing to do,” writes Roses.
The municipal worker who has to chip the fists out of their cement-hard bonds would probably disagree. But still, credit goes to the designer for giving a rote action some bro-worthy satisfaction—and keeping germy fingertips off the walk button, to boot.
(For those curious about the fists’ construction, see the making-of video.)