How elevators are built to deceive you

How elevators are built to deceive you"The stairs… the stairs… for the love of God take the stairs!

"
The 1983 movie "The Lift."
Some may think elevators are scary, but manufacturers want them to be more efficient and friendly, even if they do have to fool you a little.

Unlike normal elevators, "smart elevators" work by having a passenger enter which floor number they want in a console in the lobby, and then are told to enter a specific elevator which will take them to their floor. It’s called "destination dispatch." However…

"Smart elevators are strange elevators, because there is no control panel in the car; the elevator knows where you are going. People tend to find it unnerving to ride in an elevator with no buttons; they feel as if they had been kidnapped by a Bond villain. Helplessness may exacerbate claustrophobia. In the old systemboard elevator, press buttonyou have an illusion of control; elevator manufacturers have sought to trick the passengers into thinking they’re driving the conveyance. In most elevators, at least in any built or installed since the early nineties, the door-close button doesn’t work. It is there mainly to make you think it works. (It does work if, say, a fireman needs to take control. But you need a key, and a fire, to do that.) Once you know this, it can be illuminating to watch people compulsively press the door-close button. That the door eventually closes reinforces their belief in the button’s power. It’s a little like prayer. Elevator design is rooted in deceptionto disguise not only the bare fact of the box hanging by ropes but also the tethering of tenants to a system over which they have no command."

Up and Then Down – The lives of elevators, The New Yorker>>

One thought on “How elevators are built to deceive you”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>