Bottle barrier

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Here is another example of the most plentiful type of object around becoming an informal demarcator. With the arrival of monsoon season, moisture seeps into every aspect of life, bringing unexpected consequences. In this instance, it caused tiles to begin popping out of the floor and sticking up at odd (and sharp) angles.  After ripping up all the tiles and re-grouting them, the closest by and most plentiful object was used to create a barrier indicating “don’t walk here”. On the ground floor of this apartment building, that just happened to be empty five-liter water bottles.

What is it about how these objects and their arrangement that makes it abundantly clear not to walk there? Upon seeing such an arrangement, one’s attention is immediately drawn to the area inside of the demarcated area – “What’s happening there? Why can’t I walk there?” In this case there’s also the issue of, lacking signage and clear directional guidance, which area one is supposed to walk on and which area one is supposed to avoid. The curvature does lend a clue, but what if the water bottles were merely in a straight line down the middle of the room? Also, the issue of repurposing an object that is still fit for its original purpose: what happens when the water company comes by to collect its containers? A race between drying grout and water bottle collectors ensues.

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