Door Handle for Dummies

Admit it- you’ve approached a door and had trouble figuring out whether to push or pull. Even though we’ve all experienced this, it can still be embarrassing! Here’s a solution: the Push/Pull Affordance Rotating Handle was developed from a series of cognitive tests that revealed a correlation between handle shape and the directional guess the user has to make. When the user sees its flat surface they will push, and when they see the pointed surface they will pull. It’s a simple concept, but oh-so-smart!

Designer: Tommaso Gecchelin


  • Nick says:

    I dont mean to kill the buzz but doesn’t a pad for push and a handle for pull solve this situation. At least you physically can’t pull when there is no handle.

  • Nick says:

    Ahh that makes more sense. I often wonder though, why more doors don’t have pads on one side and handles on the other if you don’t need to twist.

  • Kinetic says:

    I believe this design is for typical twist handle doors where they only only open is one direction. This design is relevant.

  • James says:

    This is one of many designs I’m seeing on yanko as of late. A lovely produced design, beautifully rendered and really well thought out in its context to look as beautiful as it is ergonomic…..but completely and utterly pointless.

  • Paul says:

    This is one of the many comments i’m seeing on yanko as of late. Criticism of a well thought out, executed and attractive design that takes into consideration user interaction, haptics, and intelligent installation.

    This is industrial design. It is far from pointless. It solves a problem in an elegant manner.

  • James says:

    Praise was given as well as constructive criticism, which all designers relish. Unfortunately the design as elegant as it is, solves nothing. As I said, it’s beautifully thought in context out but not needed in the slightest. Public doors do not have twist handles like this. Public doors that need to be pulled, tend to have a bar (that doesn’t need to be twisted because it’s not someone’s house) and if the door needs to be pushed it doesn’t have a handle at all as there’s no need to have one. It’s a lovely design and well thought out in every area other than the main one, is it solving a problem….no. Just others can clearly see what you can not, the idea is redundant. If anyone can show me an example where this would solve a common problem then by all means, show the class.

  • Paul says:

    I can assure you there are a vast number of commercial lever door handles. Public doors definitely utilize these door handles.

    Have a look through the Valli & Valli collections.

    Or perhaps the commercial handles at Hafele.

  • Kinetic says:

    Whether public or a private environment, the problem exists. I encounter a certain door often and open it the wrong way – it looks like it should open the wrong way. This handle design would solve that with its push/pull affordance.

  • Jimmy C says:

    @James: First of all, your comment about giving the designer so called “praise” is absolutely worthless. As long as you call the design “pointless” the way you did, you’re only tearing him down. Second, it says they tested this thoroughly. The system works, therefore it isn’t pointless at all.

  • Sarah says:

    1. this is an elegant lovely looking design.
    2. this ‘problem’ has been resolved many times before and done better:
    3. when you grip a door handle, you grip the whole thing, not just pull or push a part of it, this type of handle would not be comfortable to grip and push down.
    4. none of these push/pull door designs really solve anything. I mean, who can’t open a door?
    5. none of these door handles / bars would ever go into production because it’s too much money to spend on producing something new when all you’d need is “push” or “pull” written on the door…..which doors have done for years anyway. So as far as your little debate goes, and being in industrial and product design myself. This design IS pointless.

    If you would like to debate this further. Please consider the money aspect alone. We would never produce or buy such a thing because basically, what is cheaper, printing signs on doors or a whole newly designed handle?

  • Kinetic says:

    Good points Sarah. I guess its easy to see a design that has substance and get drawn in to it, ignoring any real world applications.

  • Paul says:

    Just a final thought. Tooling for this door handle may actually be cheaper than regular door handles as the handle can be orientated in both left and right directions. You don’t need a separate casting for the opposite door handle.

  • szilveszter says:

    This design shuold speek more clear what is push what is pull.
    Only turn the element is just practical, but not allways give also the best solution.
    A door handle should be one piece. I guess 🙂

  • deadcat says:

    it’s useful when you change the side the door opens. it’s good because it gives tactical notion. but still it is most effective when all doors are made like that and everyone is aware of it

  • Saurabh says:

    This gives me an idea. Do not provide any handle or anything at all on the push side. This will force every person to push the door. It will also save money on handle and its installation.

  • cybrpnk says:

    I like this design…it’s ‘simplicity’ and effectiveness appeals to me even more. would love to variations and a further evolution of this ‘simplistic’ yet effective idea

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