The Info Flowing In

A foot on a tile

The steps we take any given day transfer a good amount of information to us about our surroundings but generally they do it pretty passively. We don’t think a whole lot about what our feet are grounded on and whether the feet are giving us broader insight about where we are and what might happen in that space.

The mainstays of active communication with our environment are naturally sight and hearing, but it can be interesting when someone decides to use a less active communication pathway to transfer information. 

Bumps on the ground to tell us we are near to an intersection or rail platform edge are a prime example. Calling attention to a potentially dangerous situation by touching the soles of our feet. Is this intuitive? Do ground bumps really convey the appropriate amount of urgency and information? I am not sure, but it’s interesting to consider this and alternate designs which also might do.


  1. Do you think maybe any jagged surface would work instead of bumps since so much of our urban jungle is smooth…concrete, blacktop, recently laid bricks?

  2. That particular surface allows for traction even when water is pooling. It is specially designed to be particularly slip free.

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