You hear it all the time: “To burn extra calories, just take the stairs instead of the elevator.” Elevators usually win out though because, let’s face it, they have agreeable lighting and rarely smell like urine. But what if stairs were more attractive? Would you be more inclined to use them? A group of students at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design is attempting to answer that question by making them more inviting, reports the Globe and Mail.
Drawing inspiration from buildings including Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts and Mountain Equipment Co-op retail stores, the students hope to find inexpensive ways to make the spaces less ugly‘a common complaint during their research. But are a few plants and some natural light enough to get people moving?
‘If you make it more attractive and a better experience, will more people use them? We don’t know but we think so,” instructor Glen Hougan told the Globe and Mail.
The project’s best ideas will be promoted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia.
NSCAD students aren’t the first group to try to increase the appeal of taking the stairs. A 2009 Volkswagen initiative called "The Fun Theory" documented people’s reactions when they turned a common staircase into a piano. Suddenly, taking the escalator seemed pretty boring. Sure, it’s a bit gimmicky, but if it gets people walking, that might not be a bad thing.
Do you think a better design would encourage people to skip the elevator? What would inspire you to take the stairs more often?