The Architecture Studio ‘Mano de Santo’ designs a DIY door handle protector to prevent contagion

News Infurma30/04/2020
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The Architecture Studio ‘Mano de Santo’ designs a DIY door handle protector to prevent contagion

This new and exceptional pandemic situation is showing us that adversity make us work closer together and stronger than ever before. We seek ways to contribute, to the best of our ability, to improve the situation or, at least, try not to make it worse. The coronavirus has brought not just contagions but also a cascade of ideas and praise worthy initiatives pursuing the common good; in the face of adversity we sharpen our wits. The Mano de Santo Architecture Studio team got an “eureka” moment after observing people's difficulties and pirouettes in some shops trying to open the door while avoiding touching the door handle with their hands.

At Mano de Santo they set out to find a shortcut that would solve the problem. This is how they came up with the concept of these protectors that are built in the door handle in such a way that there is no need to use the hands and instead we can use the forearm or the elbow. Its name: Hands Up. It is a design in the shape of an accordion that anybody can easily reproduce at home with cardboard and scissors. In order to do that, they have shared the project as afree unrestrictive use, presenting the design layout template together with videos and sketches. These handle protectors that are currently being made of cardboard could be manufactured using other materials when, in the near future, the productive systems go back to normal.

The intention, they explained, is to spread the idea to the highest possible number of people, regardless of the country. “It is an object specially designed for the de-escalation process we are initiating now, having in mind the greatest care of others and ourselves. It is a simple gesture, a small contribution that, in turn, can help to improve the situation. We believe that actions such as this one are going to play a fundamental role at this time. Door handles, particularly in hospitals and medical centres, but also in any working environment, hotels, buildings or shops entrance doors, are elements that with stand the transit of large numbers of people, resulting in it being touched many times throughout the day. If we continue to use them as before, they can be a risk, a focus of potential contagion and, therefore, increase the number of cases.” This is another example of how design aims to improve the quality of life for everyone.

With this idea, the Architecture team from Valencia, is not expecting any financial gain. “We don’t want any gains derived from our design. In this sense we felt our hands were tied and we wanted to be of use creating something that would reach the maximum number of people possible and make a positive impact. More so, we knew the need of designing something that everyone could reproduced using the resources at hand at this time”, Mano de Santo explained.

They say, “we did some research and realised that there was little offer of industrialized products of this kind and, given the current production situation, it was difficult to access them. In our view, opening doors with the forearm or elbow, without touching the handles with the hands, has become an absolute necessity in this context. We needed an urgent solution, and Hands Up is the outcome”.

However, Mano de Santo is open to sharing the design and for it to be reproduced by companies or workshops that can develop and easily distribute it once the activity reopens. “Our proposed solution is temporary and disposable, a quick shortcut that we have come up with observing the available materials and resources”.

In close collaboration, given the relationship between the two teams, CTC Comunicación (formerly Consuelo Torres Comunicación) is working on all media outreach to increase the project visibility and pass on the information of this solution to society in general on a pro-bono basis.

An eco-friendly design for everyone

Mano de Santo's proposal is one hundred per cent Do It Yourself. Easy, ecological, and reusing materials we canall find at home. Hands Up design can be crafted using any carton package or cardboard boxes such as a biscuits, cereals, detergent or beer boxes, even the delivery cardboard boxes we receive these days .

The crafting process is really simple. We draw the template on a piece of card, then we trim the edges and cut out the holes for the door handle; next we fold it by the defined vertices thus obtaining the accordion shape. That's all. They recommend placing a tight elastic band at the end of the handle to prevent displacement. Here you will find all the step by step information to create your own Hands Up.

In the current prototype the cardboard is the protagonist, “however, in the future, when other industries start to get going, we believe that it can be made using other materials and could even be customized”, declares Mano de Santo. They put only one condition: “we want those companies taking up and developing the initiative, to donate a percentage of their production to medical centres, nursing homes or any other public service space.

Mano de Santo would like to encourage anyone reproducing their design to share it with them and tag them in their social media (Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn).

An idea that highlights the paradigm shift

This idea, point out the team, is just one more example and evidence of the changes to come. “From one day to the next, many of the things that were part of our daily life have been totally transformed. In the face of this new paradigm, we all have work to do. From the architecture and design realm, our task is to re-think some elements, from the biggest to the smallest ones (such as the door handles) to make them safe elements that prevent contagion. We should contribute and provide solutions that help to minimize the impact of this terrible pandemic and prevent future ones from happening”, remark this team from Valencia. Consequently, ideas such as this one are surging and are here to stay.

Source: Mano de Santo
Visit the Mano de Santo website

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