Landscape design fail.

Communications Hill is a new neighborhood in San Jose, designed in a kind of quasi-European fashion. Nice houses that resemble little castles, a neighborhood park and – in a shocking acknowledgment that some people enjoy walking – even the stairs to the top of the hill. For some extra “just like Europe” kick they have even included a few benches along the stairs, but it would seem whoever designed the whole thing doesn’t quite understand what people do with the benches.

Exhibit 1:

Benches for a shouting match

Benches for a shouting match

Normally benches are arranged around the central square because it isn’t very comfortable and clearly not romantic when some random folks discuss their random crap behind your back and you can’t even see them!
Perhaps what the designer had in mind was not the quiet summer evenings with young people hugging and kissing, but wild shouting matches, with two teams sitting in front of each other, spitting and yelling obscenities and guys from the back benches throwing beer bottles for good measure.

Exhibit 2:

Great views!

Great views!

What can be more romantic than watching the sunset from a comfortable bench overlooking the city! But hell no, the benches face the other way. Here’s what the designer intends us to look at instead:

Watch the grass grow, suckers!

Watch the grass grow, suckers!

Oh, and there’s not a single place to get a cup of coffee in the whole neighborhood – not even a Starbucks!


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Great idea, poor execution.

Tea bag with an inspirational saying.

Tea bag with an inspirational saying.

This teabag design idea looks great for someone like me, who likes to read and reads everything, including nutrition information labels, contact information – whatever gets into my field of vision. But alas, like many great ideas it was rendered useless by poor implementation: The quotes repeat in each bag, so after a while I stopped reading them – they are all the same.

And it’s not like there’s a shortage of inspirational quotes and if needed, they could even invent new ones, along with the attribution (I know who Pancho Villa was, but I’m sure most don’t): e.g. “Three cups of rice is better than one. Old Chinese Saying”, or “Happy people live longer. Jack McDaniel”. Not hard at all 😉