Monday, September 2, 2019

World War I Trench Design and School Safety: Not All Important Innovation Has A Positive Vibe

Usually, it's pleasant to write about interesting innovation.

But I recently read about and innovative idea that, while interesting because it's lateral, out-of-the-box thinking, I wish was unnecessary.

In Michigan high school, as a response to school shootings, is redesigning itself according to principles developed by trench engineers in World War I.

The engineers had designed the long trenches to be serpentine so that, if an enemy breeched any part of it, they would not be able to shoot down the length of the trench.  Only soldiers nearby would be in danger, and other soldiers would be able to regroup, protected by sharp turns.

The school is using these principles to make, for example, serpentine hallways, panopticon main offices that can look for intruders from all angles, and push-button door cutoffs.  In classrooms, there will be areas to hide that are protected by shadows, so that a shooter looking in from a window will not see anyone.

© 2019 Praveen Puri

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