When societies undergo jarring events, fresh cultural expression emerges. For example, in a post-9/11 climate, our heightened awareness of security – both personal and national – has redefined the way we draw boundaries and deal with fear.

For the MOMA’s recent exhibition, SAFE: Design Takes on Risk, French born designer Philippe Million created this galvanized steel utility barrier to be a little more inviting than the standard variety; it may prevent passage, but it also offers a place to rest.

SAFE: Design Takes on Risk explored our need for safety through a collection of contemporary designs that addressed physical protection, emergency preparedness and access to information. We mentioned this exhibition last year when we showcased the Subtle Safety Ring. We live in a dangerous world, but fear is no reason to abandon innovation — good design and a little humor are key elements of personal comfort.