Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

The Goal is Elevation

Last month I wrote about a Classic Seinfeld Moment that Never Happened. As a special bonus, I have one more Seinfeld-inspired bit to share. We are all familiar with Jerry Seinfeld's stand-up routines, which tend to focus on the absurdity of normal, everyday life, such as explaining Halloween to a child or airline pilots who update passengers regularly on their progress. My contribution is all about elevators.

elevatorOn our recent trip to Colorado, we visited the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The building, or at least the most recent addition, was phenomenal...elegant and modern. We stepped into the even more impressive elevator (I've provided a handy visual aid).

Within this brand new, techno-cool elevator are the same one-character, black, plastic buttons that are found in every elevator of the past 20 years. Of all things to never change, why elevator buttons? What is so sacred within elevator design classes about minimalist floor labels? How many times do you step into an elevator to see such helpful buttons as M, L, G, B, P and, my favorites, L1 and L2? I keep imagining elevator designers with books on their shelves with titles like, The Case for Elevator White Space and Less is More: Why a Character is Worth a 1,000 Words.

Haven't we advanced as a nation to the point that we can create a new generation of elevators where you find Mezzanine, Lobby, Ground, Basement, and Parking buttons? And, in a perfect world, perhaps even, Open and Close!