John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Punish your miserable eyeballs with this collection of wretched patterns.
Pound 10 cans of Silly String and puke onto a Jackson Pollock canvas and you might begin to approach the wretchedness on display at Sitzmuster des Todes—aka “Seating Pattern of Death”—a European site devoted to the planet’s most skin-crawling transit seats.
The folks at SMDT explain their curation of vile patterns this way (via imperfect Google translation):
It started with a research on the Internet. …. In an image search, we discovered an incredibly ugly seating pattern. Then another and another. This aroused our attention. We were looking for more and we have found. We have so much found that for us it was clear soon: The world must learn.
The site’s founders now have an international network of spies who send them vile photos to mock on Facebook. They’ve also put up a “Hall of Death” containing the most heinous design crimes they’ve found, including seats that look like melted rainbow ice cream and awful screensavers from the first versions of Microsoft Windows. They say they “have nothing against public transport”—they just hope that one day our children will be able to use it “without having to constantly vomit.”
Here are a few of the more atrocious specimens in their collection: