If there was a Mangrovia Collective Prize for extreme thought-provoking design, a great candidate would be the Orly Nonescalator Handrail. (Yes, we do spend a lot of time in airport lounges. It is quality time. You have to wait a lot – never be in a hurry, by design. Time to read, time to idle. As Le Carré once said, spying is waiting. For us, waiting is spying.)
We stressed “Nonescalator”. The picture says it all, but of course we’ll indulge in a little description.
Orly Sud Airport, May 2013.
As you may not have noticed, the two central handrails in the picture are escalator handrails. Now they do not flank an escalator, but an absolutely immovable flight of stairs. Prepare to embark on an inferential roller coaster. “I just grabbed an escalator handrail. My hand knows it. It is still, but as usual as soon as I’ll step on the escalator it will start to move.” Of course it doesn’t. Other possibility, “An escalator was planned here, an unusually large one. They couldn’t find one on the market, and ended up with the travertine bars.” One more ride: “That’s Achille and the Tortoise, pick the winner!”
We leave it open-ended for your intellectual excitement. As we said, it is a great nominee for any contest in creativity, for spending twenty minutes of pure fun with your children, and possibly for testing the thin boundaries between art and design.