Friday, November 10, 2017

A useful open elevator door button

Eric Promislow reports from Bangkok that he has found sane elevator open and close buttons.

Spotted at the Bangkok Hospital

Eric knew I'd care because he was a subscriber to my old magazine, Scribbles. Back in the 90s, I began an effort to get the Canadian Standards Association to adopt elevator door buttons that people could actually understand in time to prevent the door from closing on someone. I thought the association would care because sometimes people get seriously hurt by closing elevator doors. (For example, two people died in Ottawa in 1989.)

I submitted a proposed design and, in 2002, the association told me that the idea had merit, but the Canadian rules were harmonized with the United States rules and so they'd have to bring it up with the Americans. Then they accidentally left it off the January 2003 agenda and it's 14 years later and we still have open and close door buttons that most people take longer to figure out than it takes the doors to close.

But in Bangkok, there is at least one elevator that has a pair of buttons that you can figure out at a glance.
My 20-year-old button design

My design might have been crisper, but the Bangkok Hospital design is more obvious.

Feel free to let the Canadian Standards Association know about this. Or, if you live outside Canada, your national counterpart.

I am happy to say that now two of my favourite things come from Thailand: pad Thai and a sane open door button.

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