Little Things Tokyo : Unreachable Vending Machine

Tokyo, a city I have been in for now over 25 years, is known for its technological marvels and innovative solutions. On a recent stroll with my family through the bustling streets of Ginza, I stumbled upon a peculiar sight—a vending machine installed unusually high, with its top slot buttons seemingly out of reach. Curiosity piqued, I found myself pondering the motivations behind such an installation. Its a pedestrian street, so has to be accessible normally…

A Quest for Efficiency?

In Tokyo where efficiency reigns supreme, it is not uncommon to encounter vending machines at every turn. These automated devices provide a convenient and swift solution for quenching one’s thirst on the go. The decision to install a vending machine at an elevated height could stem from the desire to optimize space utilization, especially in areas with limited floor space. By positioning the machine higher, it allows for better utilization of vertical real estate without obstructing pedestrian flow on the ground.

However, this approach inadvertently raises concerns regarding accessibility. Me and my daughter started having empathy for people with disabilities who might have trouble accessing regular machines too!

While the pursuit of efficiency is commendable, it is crucial to consider the needs of all individuals, including those with disabilities. The installation of a vending machine at an inaccessible height inadvertently creates barriers for people with mobility impairments, short stature, or those who rely on mobility aids such as wheelchairs or crutches. It is a stark reminder of how seemingly small design choices can inadvertently exclude a significant portion of the population. A reminder of sorts for Universal Design Principles, I suppose.

If you know any other reason why you feel this installation might have been done, let me know in the comments please.

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading Facebook Comments ...
%d bloggers like this: