Okay, so railings don’t suck- all the time.
It’s just that some answers to design considerations are just too routine (placing railings is one of them). In dealing with a situation already encountered before, some are quick to reuse solutions instead of pondering for more effective ones.
“You’re designing a house on steeply sloping terrain. For one reason or another, you end up with an open decked space overlooking a magnificent view. However, the deck terminates at a dangerous cliff; safety of the user is of utmost importance.”
A common design move to respond to this would be to place a railing at the edge of the deck. While this certainly deals with the issue of safety, look at its other implications.
If the user would want to kick back on a chair and enjoy the view, think of how the railing would spoil the experience. Chances are, the top member of the railing is swak with your horizon.
Consider a different approach to this problem. One ingenious design move would be to incorporate a shallow reflecting pool terminating at a strip of shrubs.
Think about it. Which of the 2 is more effective? Innovative? Which one shows that you’re thinking like a true designer?
(Again, we have Prof. MLV Santos to thank for this wonderful tidbit of information. Just realized how much we learn from her in her classes. Haha. Rock on, Ma’am.)