Design Debacles: 30+ Public Spaces Falling Victim To Unintentional Comedy

By Ayomitide F

Have you ever found yourself in a public space facepalming at some seriously questionable design choices? We’re talking about those moments when you walk into a spot and go, “Who thought this was a good idea?” From wonky layouts to signs that missed their calling as comedy gold, we’re here to dish out the best of the bunch. 

Join us as we navigate shopping centers, parks, and other hangouts where design detours into the absurd. Get ready to shake your head, crack a smile, and share a collective “What were they thinking?” as we unravel the quirkiest design blunders in our daily adventures. On the other hand, this serves as a lesson for folks on what to avoid when designing public spaces!


Oh man, you won’t believe it, that is Thor‘s hammer! We know what you’re thinking! Like, what on earth is it doing here? Even the Asgaardians are no less confused than we are. It’s like a new level of surrealism. Someone must have gotten a little carried away with the whole superhero vibe.

Imagine walking through the park and suddenly, bam! There it is, this massive hammer. It’s not your usual park adornment, but it’s definitely a conversation starter. People are huddling around, taking selfies, and cracking jokes about trying to lift it. Classic.

Toilet Artist

Well, well, well, let us break it down for you in a way that won’t leave you scratching your head. The term “toilet artist” might sound like some new-age career track thingy, but it’s about those unsung heroes who transform humble toilets into art.

Have you ever pictured Picasso with plungers or Da Vinci with drain pipes? Now, that is some crazy stuff. And the toilet muses? They get it all – from funky tiles to snazzy graffiti. In fact, we hear like-minded professionals, e.g., Bathroom athletes and Kitchen detectives, are in high demand lately.

The Portal

That gym door has got some serious Martian vibes going on. It’s like someone sneakily borrowed a futuristic door from a sci-fi flick and plopped it in the middle of our mundane reality. And why not? It totally fits the bill.


But looking at it, you’ve probably noticed the former bleachers set up on either side of our teleportation portal door. That makes more sense. We prefer to think you’ll land on Mars once you step through those doors. Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime.


Oh, you noticed those, huh? Yes, those are coffin-shaped windows on a hospital door. Quite dramatic, isn’t it? Someone had a knack for dark humor when designing this place. And we still don’t know how to feel about it because it’s not the best thing to see when you’re in a hospital.


But yeah, you wouldn’t catch us dead in this place. Pun intended. This is definitely a place where you want to make a quick in-and-out visit and then scurry back to the world of the living. After all, who wants to end up as a punchline in this joke? 

Obstacle Course

Look at that; who’s gonna navigate these stairs, a ninja? But hey, when life throws you a quirky carpet, you gotta find your own way, right? All you have to do is roll sideways like a hotdog until you hit the bottom level. It can’t be that hard, buddy!


Picking the right carpet for stairs can be a head-scratcher, especially when the pattern has a secret mission to hide those steps. It’s like the carpet’s playing hide-and-seek with the stairs. This one looks like a meditation-based obstacle course from Mr. Miyagi.


You know that feeling when it just doesn’t feel right? Well, we think the same here. It’s like, the vibe in this bathroom is just… off. Maybe it’s the lighting or how the tiles clash with the overall theme, but we’re ill at ease.

It’s hard to pinpoint, but it’s definitely giving us the heebie-jeebies, like one of those scenes where you just know something’s about to jump out at you. We’re saying there’s an actual ghost or anything, but still, it’s all a bit unsettling, and who knows what’s lurking there?

Hippie Hippo

It’s a good thing you are seeing this because it would have been so hard to believe. Imagine rolling up to the bowling alley with your buddies, and the next thing you notice is a massive cardboard-cut hippo chilling in the corner, minding its own business. 


But who cares? That’s right until this thing starts shooting out balls from its rear end. Well, that’s one way to make an entrance, Mr. Hippo. And let us tell you the best part – it is surprisingly accurate. Gotta give props to the folks who thought that one up!

Dark Mirror

Yeah, this restroom is definitely not winning any awards for privacy, that’s for sure. For chrissakes, it’s like having a live broadcast of everyone’s bathroom routine. Whoever installed the mirror there clearly had a mission, which made us deeply uncomfortable. 


Not even The Office had to resort to this technique. The true horror is when you catch eyes with someone in the mirror while you’re both trying to handle your business. It’s like, “Hey, Bob from Accounting, I hope you’re enjoying the view as much as I am!” Let’s just say team bonding never ends.

Same old, same old

Ah, the classic wall-over-window renovation! It’s like the ultimate magic trick for your home. You’ve got this big ol’ window, letting in all that natural light and those dreamy outdoor views, and then suddenly, poof! You decide, “Nah, let’s just have more walls instead.”

The Sun

We do get the appeal. Sometimes, you just crave that extra privacy or want to create some fancy new artwork without any pesky sunlight messing up the vibe. But it’s probably best to let it go and not have a little peaky window in the corner like a peeping tom.

What in the world

Oh boy, oh boy, we know what you’re thinking yet again. Why in the world would anybody do this and live with it?! Yeah, that is one thing. But then, you must wonder what things are kept in this specially designated drawer. 


If you ever come across these things, make a run for it. You surely don’t want to know what comes after those drawers are opened up. But hey, sometimes the chaotic, unpredictable stuff adds a little spice to life, right? When life gets too boring, open this Pandora’s box.

Chicken or Egg

Ah, you’ve got to hand it to the mastermind who engineered that one. Who wouldn’t want to snag a seat behind a pillar and miss the entire show? It’s like having a front-row ticket to the battle between entertainment and a solid, dependable post.


Decisions, decisions! You’re there for the glitz and glamor, and yet, this sturdy, unwavering pillar is just inviting you in for a cozy chat. Who knew a piece of architecture could offer such an irresistible embrace? Talk about tough choices made easy.


Taking a blind date to a whole new level with that window, aren’t they? But hey, maybe they’re just trying to set the mood; a little mystery never hurt anyone. And the food? Maybe it is so good that you don’t have to see it to eat it. It might not be appealing, after all.


Who needs a panoramic view when you’ve got a plate full of deliciousness in front of you? It’s all about those taste buds doing the happy dance. Plus, it adds a bit of surprise and mystery to every bite. Think about it.

Dissecting Pillar

What genius decided this was the best spot for those sliding doors? Man, just looking at it, it clearly makes no sense. Just look at that pillar, standing there like a bouncer at the entrance of a hip nightclub, blocking the whole way.

And you know, we might not have those fancy architectural degrees, but we sure know a thing or two about practicality. It’s like they designed this place for a maze-loving mouse rather than actual humans. But hey, what do we know?!

Pan’s Labyrinth

What in the labyrinth are those staircases? You’d think they were designed by some architectural daredevil, but nope, that’s a whole other tale. Legend has it that this lawyer, let’s call him ‘Slick Steve,’ had this client who took a tumble down one of the old, plain-Jane staircases. 


After a lawsuit rumble and the whole nine yards, Steve persuaded the college to install these psychedelic center rails that would put any labyrinth to shame. So yeah, there is not a lot more to it than that. But center rails, whoever came up with that invention?!


Now, this is one thing that makes you scratch your head and wonder. Who in the world thought it was a brilliant idea to place the bathroom urinals in such a strategic location? It’s like they were aiming for maximum awkwardness or something. 


You walk down the hallway, and all the boys are in there, just out in the open, doing their thing. Did the designer have a pervy sense of humor, or maybe just zero consideration for personal space? Or maybe the person responsible was just having a rough day and accidentally mixed up the blueprint.


Man, this one really grinds the gears, doesn’t it? Who in the world installs a tap without a sink? It’s such a fundamental and essential part of any functional kitchen or bathroom that you’d expect it. The world is going wild, that is for sure.


Sure, there is a way to do this right. The marble counter angles back towards the wall, and the water mysteriously disappears into a hidden drain against the wall. If they want to pull this off, the least they can do is to ensure it works. 

The Best!

Ah, the best seats in the house, you ask? Well, let us tell you about these gems. Picture this: you saunter into the cinema, casually strolling down the aisle, and then there they are—these glorious seats. You might think they’re just ordinary, but oh no, my friend, they’re the crème de la crème.

From these prime spots, you’re not just watching the movie; you’re in for a treat, a sight to behold. Forget about those folks in the front row, straining their necks to catch a glimpse of the screen. You, the chosen one, are privileged to focus on the main event—the magnificent wall!


Here we go again. It’s like they designed these places without considering the practicalities of everyday shopping. You’d think they’d at least test things out before opening up shop, right? It’s not rocket science to figure out that a shopping cart should comfortably maneuver around pillars.


But nope, here we are, trying to navigate an obstacle course to pick up some groceries. And don’t get us started on the accessibility issue. End of days for shopping, maybe? It’s either these darn pillars, towering displays, or fellow shoppers staging a roadblock with their carts.


Ah, we have ourselves another classic. It’s like the universe decided to throw a dash of quantum confusion into our daily lives. So it seems we’ve got an exit door that is not an exit door. Where does this leave poor folks? In a state of utter confusion.


This dilemma presents the unpopular “Schrodinger’s door” phenomenon. Is it an exit, or is it not? Until you reach that door handle, it’s like it exists in a state of limbo, both an exit and not an exit simultaneously. Yup, we’re scratching our heads too.

The Red Dinner

Talk about setting the mood. A chandelier of knives? What is this, the red wedding? We better hope there isn’t an earthquake, or we might just have a Game of Thrones situation on our hands. And hey, they look rubber, too, but we’re not trying to find out, buddy! 


Dinner is already exciting enough. Nobody needs all that extra thrill hanging over their heads, literally. But, practicality-wise, you’d better hope there isn’t any tremor. The last thing you’d want is an avalanche of knives raining down on you and your guests. Safety first, after all.

Flight Mode

What is a round trip without the classic struggle of the tight space for the socket beside the airplane seat? It’s almost like they want you to stay off your phone for as long as possible. You know, flight mode, for everyone’s safety.

So there you are, juggling your phone charger, a neck pillow, and maybe even an in-flight snack while navigating the Bermuda Triangle, the narrow gap between your seat and the cabin wall. You’ll get carpal tunnel with all the maneuvering. Good luck, buddy, you’ll need it!


So, the school administration finally decided to step up their game and get a smart board. But, you know, this school is where common sense sometimes takes a vacation. So what do they do? They set up the whole shebang upside down! 


Look at that; they mounted the screen above the projector like some kind of artwork. Now, you walk into the classroom, and all you see is this big ol’ projection on the wall while the sleek, supposedly “smart” screen is just chilling up there, looking all confused and useless.

The setup

Yeah, this one toilet is primed for all sorts of awkward situations. Imagine finishing your business in the stall, and you rush out in a hurry, not paying enough attention; you might just send the poor soul at the urinal spinning like a top into the next unsuspecting gentleman. 


That is some slapstick comedy level of genius right there. And, oh, the aftermath is a different level of cringe. You’ve got this domino effect of apologies, grunts, and muffled curses, perfect! It’s a miracle this place hasn’t become the setting for a reality TV show – “The Toilet Tangos!”

Lighten up!

Oof…a little higher, and you have your own idea bulb! Seriously, who designed this place? The lighting at this bar is like a personal spotlight in your eyes, totally blocking out the face. It’s like they’re trying to give everyone a mysterious silhouette look, but it’s just plain annoying.


This is that one joint that every tall person would avoid. Honestly, interior design shouldn’t be about creating obstacles; it should be about setting the mood, creating a comfortable atmosphere, and making the space inviting. Clearly, someone trashed the memo! We’ve lost count of how often we’ve nearly headbutted one of those things. 


Ah, the old recycle bin. It’s like a box of surprises, isn’t it? You never know what forgotten treasures might be lurking in there. Aside from the obvious paper and plastic, there’s always a chance you’ll find an ancient relic, like that long-lost sock or the remnants of a failed DIY project.

But hey, there’s always a silver lining. Sometimes, you stumble upon a hidden gem, like that crumpled-up note you thought was gone forever or that missing puzzle piece you needed to complete the picture. You know what they say: a man’s trash represents his character, but his recycle bin reflects his soul.

Funky Friday

These funky, abstract mirrors are up to something. You can tell from how they make your reflection into some twisted Picasso version of yourself. They’re like the rebellious cousins of the sleek, elegant mirrors we’re used to. It almost feels like a Black Mirror episode.


You can’t help but wonder what the designers thought when they put Frankenstein’s puzzle together. Did they wake up one morning and say, “You know what the world needs? A mirror that messes with your perception every time you glance at it.” Fascinating!

Going Up?!

Hotel elevators, huh? They’re like those reliable friends who don’t need any frills to impress you. When you’re staying at a swanky hotel, you’re already surrounded by all that glam and luxury, right? You walk into the lobby, and it’s like, bam! 


Chandeliers, plush sofas, and the whole shebang. So when you step into that elevator, you kind of appreciate the no-nonsense vibe it brings, except in some places where the guide was specially designed to mess with dyslexic people. Those are the ones you best avoid!

Pub madness

Walking into the loo at a pub expecting the usual graffiti on the wall and stinking facilities is one thing. But boy, oh boy, you can never be prepared for this one: open-vent doors. The bizarre innovations keep pouring in!


You’ve got people trying to peek inside to check if it’s occupied, all while trying not to make eye contact with whoever’s already in there. And then there’s that split second of panic when you lock eyes with someone just trying to wash their hands. Awkward doesn’t even begin to cover it.


Well, well, well, would you check out this table with its very own island crater? It’s like it’s got its own little vacation spot right there in the middle. You can’t help but wonder what this little oasis is meant for. Does it have any purpose at all?

The Sun

It could be the designated area for the most important dish at the dinner party or the VIP section for the centerpiece, soaking up all the attention like a true diva. One thing’s for sure, though: it’s definitely got everyone talking and wondering.


You know, some places just take the whole ‘artsy’ thing a tad too far. Who has time to stand there deciphering hieroglyphics in the mirror when all you really want is a scoop of some good old classic vanilla? People only want to get to the goodies.


It’s like they’re trying to turn a simple ice cream run into some kind of puzzling art exhibit. And then, boom, everyone ends up with the same ‘fruity Mexico’ concoction because deciphering anything else feels like trying to crack the enigma.


Those lights are swaying like they’re at a party. Boy, oh boy, who knew installing lights in a straight line was such a wild concept. You can bet the person who fixed those lights must have had a legendary night before getting to business. 


And those lights? Let’s just say one sip of beer turned them into “light” weights. It’s like they tried to match the carefree spirit of the installer themselves. But hey, it’s all in good fun, isn’t it? It just adds a touch of character to the whole scene and makes it feel human.

First Seating

So, word on the street is that the higher-ups decided to purposefully shuffle the seats and desks like a weird Tetris game to send out this subtle message. You know, a comforting pat on the back for those who might be sweating over the upcoming exams. 


It’s their quirky way of reminding us that success isn’t just about how well you memorize those textbooks but also about the hustle, the people skills, and that good ol’ gumption we all need in the job jungle. Funny, right?!

Close Calls

Who thought it was a brilliant idea to have staircases in a restroom? You’d have to carefully balance my latte in one hand and grab onto the railing for dear life with the other, trying not to spill or, worse, take a tumble.

And don’t even get us started on trying to navigate those stairs in heels. It will be like juggling flaming hoops while walking on a tightrope! Where is the inclusivity, folks? Who wants to work their calf muscles just to answer nature’s call? We already work out enough; we don’t need this.

Dear Brad

Check it out: the cinema’s got a case of red light leakage during the supposedly “restricted” shows. Isn’t it funny how they flick those lights on just for the, you know, risqué stuff? It gives the whole place a vibe, doesn’t it?


But then, there’s Brad Pitt, unexpectedly appearing amidst all that crimson glow. Like, what is he doing all the way out here? It’s like stumbling upon a nature documentary in the middle of a horror movie marathon. Maybe someone in the projection booth got a little carried away with their playlists.

Kiosk Update

Those self-serve kiosks at Taco Bell seem to have missed the mark on inclusivity. They’re a godsend for someone in a wheelchair or those little ankle-biters who just wanna press buttons and pretend they’re running the show. But for a grown adult, it’s like we’re back in the land of crouching tigers! 


We’re not asking for the moon here, just a little consideration. It’s all about making things accessible for everyone, not just the extremes. Hopefully, they’ll catch onto this and make some changes. Because who wants to order their Crunchwrap with a side of back pain?

Highlight of the day

A chandelier in a corporate office definitely adds a touch of exotic flair to the place. You can’t help but wonder if the boss’s wife had a say in it. The whole “happy wife, happy life” thing is valid.


We’ve got the standard fluorescent lights, the ceiling tiles, and all that, which scream “traditional office,” but then they drop a chandelier in the middle of it all. They must be trying to keep the place from feeling too dull and monotonous. And hey, we’re all for it.


Look at this: someone is trying to connect with the other side. All this extra was just so that some other folks on the other side could catch a glimpse. Who knows, they might still crave cinnamon buns. Now, that is what you call considerate, fellas.

This is a total embodiment of ‘Love thy neighbor!’ Who goes through the trouble of climbing up there to ensure their message gets across? You can’t help but admire the whole thing. Those little gestures make you believe there’s still some good vibes floating around. 


Now, this is just the perfect setting for an awkward date, both of you sitting on the mall’s very small balcony. With each and every person looking at you with side-eye glances, it might be the top-of-the-line dating experience you wished for.


Imagine going from a Tinder swipe to this balcony; what an epic love story. Some folks never make it past the profile verification. But you did! Now, all you gotta do is enjoy your fancy date with the most enchanting person in the world.

Clever & co.

Isn’t this just very clever? It seems they’ve found a way to merge two functionalities seamlessly. Who doesn’t love a good multi-purpose setup? Imagine you finish washing your hands, and the hand dryer is right there on the mirror, making the whole ‘getting ready’ process a lot more convenient. 


It’s just one of those little design tweaks that make you wonder why it wasn’t done earlier. Plus, it’s super practical – you’re not splashing water everywhere while drying your hands. And the crown jewel is that you can stare into your eyes while drying out your hands – if you’re tall enough. How sick is that?!

No way!

This right here is why you shouldn’t hire handymen from Harvard. As you can see, this one was up to no good. It’s like they let a naughty little prankster loose in here. Who in their right mind puts a door handle at that awkward spot?


What a rascal this guy is. And in a public workspace, come on. You can only imagine the poor workers forced to do a little jig every time they want to get in or out. $50 says it’s giving everybody a forearm workout every time they use it!

Full Blown Circus

Hanging a standing fan upside down from the ceiling is an honorable merit most of us will never earn—massive respect to this gentleman or lady who has achieved such a superhuman feat. You are looking at history here, fellas. This has never been done before.

The Sun

We may never see its likes again. This right here is a relic. Don’t be surprised if, in the coming years, UNESCO gains the ‘rights’ to this wonderbird of an artifact. And just before Her Majesty’s armies come knocking on your continent, we warned you first!

Fan o’clock

Ah, the infamous fan clock! It’s a classic case of someone getting a little too creative with their time-telling methods. Who in the world thought it was a bright idea to slap numbers on a spinning contraption with three hands? 


That’s like trying to read a book while riding a roller coaster — not the most practical setup out there. But hey, let’s give credit where it’s due — at least they were thinking outside the box, right? Madone, you gotta appreciate that sometimes!


What else do you call this exhibit if not art? Yeah, we know it is just a random picture, but, who in their random mind would even think to take this picture from that angle? Look less, folks, because the more you glare, the less you see.

The Black patterns formed here by black and white can’t be understated. The black shoe, white tissue, white rocks, black furniture, white socks, black hair, or whatever else. You gotta admit that you’ve been confused and not convinced about this art here.

Leads converted

Oh, poor you, you brought in that lady with the most beautiful smile for a date, and now you can’t even see her face because of the low-hanging ceiling. This devil’s chandelier sits comfortably in the line of sight between you and the love of your life.


What a shame, right? Sadly, you are the victim here. As a matter of fact, we could argue that you were robbed of your divine right to connect through the window of souls. But all you could settle for was the gift cards! Ladies & gentlemen, this is what we call guerilla advertising. 


Can you imagine the chaos of a classroom with toilets in the middle of it? Kids munching on their snacks while taking in the unexpected show? It’s a wacky scene straight out of a comedy movie. As a matter of fact, this can’t be real!


Funny enough, this would be a major plot twist in the history of school design. In reality, school design is usually a bit more sensible than that. Sure, there might be the occasional odd architectural quirk, but having toilets as the centerpiece of a classroom isn’t one of them.