The Random Lift Button Project

Updated on August 8, 2019 in Uncategorized

The Random Lift Button Project

The Random Lift – currently installed in two lifts in Portland Square at the University of Plymouth, United Kingdom. By pressing the ‘R’ button, people are taken to a random floor. The idea is to investigates the relation between space, time and architecture through conceptual approaches.

“Sorry I’m late, the lift kept choosing a different floor”

The Random Lift Button project was conceived as an opportunity to exemplify further the role of space at the mercy of time. Certainly in large commercial buildings lifts are implemented to squash space and enable people to move more quickly from one work activity to the next. Lifts become a temporal slippage in the experience of a building as a whole, we skip space and avoid people, places and the opportunity to see the ‘whole’.

And here is a random video on lift to go together with this article, enjoy.

The author is not a CAD expert nor a web genius. Just another guy spending too much time online. The tutorials featured here are meant for basic level understanding.


  1. No, R means ‘Replay’. It only works if you go to another distinct floor first…say the fifth floor. Each time you hit the R button, you go back to where you came from and the lift takes you back to the fifth floor, but in slow motion.
    It’s a real spacetime continuum thing as applied to architecture.

  2. Hey, what if the (R) actually meant random? What a concept! Instead of trying to figure out what it is, why not just take it for what it says it is!

  3. No, (R) is for Rest. If you press it, the lift will stand still for ever and ever. So don’t press it.

  4. We had these in Hong Kong, where I believe this photo was taken. It means, “Rut fwor do roo rant?”

  5. WTF is “Rut fwor do roo rant?”
    I can speak Cantonese but i don’t understand what you are saying.

    anyway, (R) can also be “Record”, where the camera in the lift will start recording the scene and in case anything happens.

  6. I use the lift every day to get to my sessions on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Its now only in 1 lift but it is random! It doesnt return to the previous floor it was on. All of the people in my yesr have tried it! It really is random and a good way of killing time between lectures and sessions. Someone once must have at some point wrote on a late register – sorry lift wanted to take me to the 5th floor instead of 3rd. Maybe there’s a secret floor and you’ve got to push the button at a certain time of day or a certain way…

  7. Everyone (hopefully) really knows it’s the Roof button. If it’s not and you actually think it is not Roof I believe you are all retarted little people. :) No disrespect.

  8. Wow… As close as the “assumed retarded little person” above was, (R) stands for the Rangoon stand on its own floor. Duh.

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