Friday Eye Candy: The Fascinating and Fetching World of Transit Seat Covers

This is definitely not a one-seat ride.
March 1, 2019, 9am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Well qualified to represent the LBC.
Frederick Dennstedt

Feargus O'Sullivan presents a fascinating, and more than a little amusing, exploration of transit seat covers.

Here, O'Sullivan establishes the premise and drops one particularly large big vocabulary word:

It can’t be easy creating a good textile for public transit. Bus, train, and subway seats must do far more than look attractive. They have to stay fresh-looking as thousands of people sit on them daily, all the while trying to deter or mask the attentions of vandals. With all these boxes to tick, it’s no wonder that so many of the fabrics used on public transit are, quite frankly, pretty damned weird. Often the textiles chosen—usually, but not exclusively moquette—have an eye-grating brightness and busyness that would make the average person faint (or at least laugh) if they saw the same pattern used for a shirt or curtains.

People love their transit textiles, however, even if cloth isn't always the best choice for a transit seat. SO, the team at CityLab put together a transit seat cover ranking system considering the following:

  1. Memorability. They need to be striking enough to create an instant impression.
  2. Freshness. Moquette needs to be bright enough in color to appear new(ish) after years of wear, but not so pale as to make stains or fade evident.
  3. Intricacy. Large empty monochrome spaces show wear more quickly, and provide too tempting a canvas for vandals.
  4. Anti-Dazzle. Moquette shouldn’t be so bright and busy that it turns stomachs.

The resulting journey into transit fabrics travels from London to Turkey to Oslo and closer to home in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.

Full Story:
Published on Monday, February 25, 2019 in CityLab
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