If you live in an American city and you don't personally use a wheelchair, it's easy to overlook the small ramp at most intersections.
In 1989, Japan's Shinkansen Bullet Train had a problem.
Michael Bierut is an award-winning designer, partner at Pentagram in New York City, and author of various books on design. Over his decades in the field of graphic design, he has witnessed a shift in public awareness, especially when it comes to logos.
Designed to help the blind and visually impaired navigate cities, tactile paving units are like braille for pavements. These raised bumps and ridges help guide people down sidewalks and across intersections. In many cases these work quite well, but in some places they have been deployed in less-successful ways (to put it mildly).
Bicycle lanes can be a boon for cyclists but they can also land riders in the "door zone," a dangerous area sandwiched between primary vehicle lanes and parked cars.
Benches in parks, train stations, bus shelters and other public places are meant to offer seating, but only for a limited duration. Many elements of such seats are subtly or overtly restrictive. Arm rests, for instance, indeed provide spaces to rest arms, but they also prevent people from lying down or sitting in anything but a prescribed position.