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Hostile architecture

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Putnam & Howell are an architecture and urban design firm which specializes in Hostile architecture, an innovative design trend defined by its "open and wanton hostility" towards the homeless.[1] We are world leaders in the use of defensive design to deter unwanted people from loitering in buildings, parks and other public places, and our designs are found in hundreds of urban centers around the globe. We value public safety and a human environment which engenders mutual trust and peace of mind. We have been serving clients who share these values for over 55 years.

Please browse our portfolio of designs to see which of our projects best suit your public deterrence needs. We value your continued patronage. Please contact our toll-free number for flexible pricing options.

Posterior: the Bench collection

Although we sympathize with the plight of those who choose to live on the street, the homeless damage the aura of togetherness and inhibit free commerce wherever they're found. Not to mention their ghastly smell. Putnam & Howell believe that public spaces are shared centers of community spirit where everyday people go to shop, walk briskly, and shop some more. We are thankful for our designers at Putnam & Howell, who find humane ways to manage the vagrants who use public seating areas as their own luxury bedding accommodations.


Design by Anatola Kraska, 2013 (Artist's rendition)

Bench, wood on concrete, spiked (2013)

Bench, wood on concrete, spiked kickstarted a new trend in defensive bench design,[2] using pointed metal spikes which inhibit lying down or sitting profanely. Other design firms have copied our concept, but only Putnam & Howell offer the bleeding edge in spikiness. This model (Pictured) uses large steel poles which retract during the day, but rapidly extend at night when infrared sensors detect the presence of any unwanted bodies. The resulting remains may be conveniently disposed of in any municipal waste area, or left in place to serve as a warning for any would-be sleepers.


Design by Alma "Pyro" Schmidt, 2017 (Artist's rendition)

Bench, metal, fire (2017)

Bench, metal, fire offers a bold and vibrant vision of bench deterrence, a vision of searing potential and the crisp smell of weathered ash. This design (Pictured) features hidden nozzles under the bench which shoot pressurized propane gas, which is then ignited to create our signature warm and inviting flames. Two models of bench, metal, fire are available: "Selective Fire" and "Toll Fire".

Selective Fire models use RFID technology to determine the net worth of any person sitting on the bench. If net worth is determined to be under a certain amount,[3] the bench will shoot out its flames and incinerate the undesired person(s). Toll Fire uses a vending machine style payment system to allow seating from any member of the public with the inclination to pay.[4] The bench will give a soft three second warning chime before returning to Inflame Mode.


Design by Feliz Conozco, Jr. (Artist's rendition)

Bench, wood on metal, guy with a bat (2011)

Bench, wood on metal, guy with a bat stems from the Minimalist school of defensive design, which eschews complicated machinery in favor of a more down-to-earth, functional aesthetic. The bench is fitted with a metal bar in the middle to prevent reclining. The bench is also manned 24/7 by a guy with a bat (Pictured). Bench guards are sourced from the finest Romanian prisons. Due to recent labor negotiations, fifteen-minute lunch breaks are mandatory, as is dental coverage.

Psychosomatic agoraphobia: a collection

For too long, hostile architecture has been preoccupied only with the physical, the tangible, the whole. However, a group of clever young designers are shattering this paradigm, willing to take the risks needed to lead Putnam & Howell into a new era. Newer, psychological strategies now target the thoughts and feelings of undesired peoples, showing the world that hostile architecture doesn't have to mean cruel architecture.


Design by Alma "Heartless" Schmidt (Artist's rendition)

I will never forgive you (2018)

I will never forgive you is a revelatory experience, a meeting of the human and the machine, a perfect synergy of illusion and sincerity. Up above, on a tree, or a ledge, a streetlight or the edge of a windowsill, a projector is perched, fitted with the latest in remote engram analysis technology. From a quick brain scan, an image of the target's greatest regret is formed and beamed into the street. A scorned lover, a father sighing, a dead comrade splintered from mortar fire, a child whose tears you can never dry. She cries. You hold your hand out, but she dissolves into a pile of ash. You monster. You know what you did.

No matter what you say, I know that at your core you think you're a decent person, that you're worth forgiving, that maybe you can absolve yourself of the guilt by doing better, by being better. But you know who you are. You know who you hurt.

Guaranteed to drive homeless people away, or your money back!


Design by Helmer Österreich III (Artist's rendition)

Mosquito (2017)

Mosquito is a proud first for Putnam & Howell, a design project which uses noise to displace the dispossessed, mining the untapped potential of aural irritation. The Mosquito emits a 120db tone at 47.3 kHz, a frequency which causes severe mental and bowel distress. The noise generated by the included loudspeaker paralyzes anyone unfortunate enough to be within range, and permanently induces tinnitus. It is recommended that the Mosquito is used in short bursts, as longer than two second exposure leads to severe brain embolisms, gas abscesses and mild gout.

Note: Noise may break several county noise ordinances. Putnam & Howell is not responsible for any ensuing legal complications.


Design by Anatola Kraska (Artist's rendition)

Summon Mammon (????)

Putnam & Howell have explored the furthest recesses of the void, bending the rules of God Himself to tread into the unknown, the unimaginable. The homeless are a locust scourge, they are like the gnats which feast upon the filth and the cud.[5] Whorelust wastrels, slaves of the archon. They will be eaten by Mammon, an ancient deity who feeds on the homeless for pleasure. Their bodies are not even digested, they are swallowed whole, left to rot inside him until the stench becomes too dreadful to bear, and they are spewn out of his mouth in a brownish-grey slurry.

However, the geniuses at Putnam & Howell have devised an innovative method to only summon Mammon in the Cognitive Realm, which keeps property damage to a minimum.[6] Mammon needs four drachma to activate.

The arcane ingredients needed to Summon Mammon are responsibly harvested, and every precaution is taken to keep the level of human suffering needed for the conjuring ritual at a minimum.


  1. "Hostile architecture," Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia
  2. "The best defense is a good offense." — Anatola Kraska
  3. Default is $101,000, customization is available.
  4. Default is $1.00 for 30 seconds of seated time, customization is available.
  5. Unless they're veterans, Putnam & Howell support our troops.
  6. He still eats brains though.


2475 Columbia Road Wilmington, DE 19801

PHONE: 603-555-0150 | EMAIL:

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