Automatic, contact-free doors are brilliant in concept, but building conditions and cost often prohibit their use—especially on retrofit projects. That’s why, since the pandemic began, and touchless interface became an imperative, one of the most frequent requests from our design teams and clients has been for hands-free door pulls—hardware that allows users to enter and exit with their wrists, forearms, and elbows instead of their fingers and palms. It’s not that the market isn’t without options, but most of these products score low on aesthetics and integration. Designed by Gensler, the Hands-Free Door Pull Collection from PBA is the perfect synthesis of functionality and sculptural elegance, proving, once again, that high-utility products don’t have to undermine the visual integrity of a space.
My Role: Designer
I participated in a visioning session with several designers providing early concept sketches. From the selected vision concepts, I worked with the Design Director to refine and distill ideas into a product collection. I supplied the client with CAD models, a technical package, and assisted in reviewing prototypes.
The minimal forms maintain a simple appearance as to relate with virtually any room hardware and accessories. The angled elements allow an individual to nest their hand, arm, or elbow into the pull to operate the door and release from the door quickly in case of emergency. The pulls are mounted with a fixing plate to conceal fasteners avoid leveling issues with uneven surfaces.
The organic forms in the collection create curved surfaces to cradle the body in operation. The gestural forms are inviting to hands, arms, and elbows and provide relief to disengage. In a similar fashion, The pulls are mounted with a fixing plate to conceal fasteners avoid leveling issues with uneven surfaces.