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HansonLA’s Louis Handle pays brilliant homage to Louis Braille by introducing accessibility for persons who are blind or have limited vision into contemporary spaces of all kinds. A deceptively simple solution, the prototype seeks to facilitate a level of convenience that many sighted people (designers included) often take for granted.

AZ Awards 2022 Winner: Louis Handle by Gisela Salazar of HansonLA

At first glance, it mimics conventional cabinet hardware, its unobtrusive form inspired by the pure geometry of Braille’s signature dots. On its underside, however, the handle’s gentle curves give way to a flat surface with a Braille description — one that indicates the contents of a drawer or what’s behind a door. 

“The Louis Handle is a really thoughtful way of making an everyday utilitarian device — the cupboard handle — communicate with its users.”
Alison Brooks, AZ Awards 2022 Juror
AZ Awards 2022 Winner: Louis Handle by Gisela Salazar of HansonLA
AZ Awards 2022 Winner: Louis Handle by Gisela Salazar of HansonLA

Conceived with the understanding that “small changes in design and architecture can have a life-changing impact,” the concept reduces barriers to the most basic everyday tasks, acting as a tactile guide for space and circulation. With applications in residential spaces, workplaces, educational facilities and institutional buildings, the Louis Handle’s versatility has the potential to serve the blind and partially sighted community in several contexts. 

AZ Awards 2022 Winner: Louis Handle by Gisela Salazar of HansonLA

Most critics would attest that they know good design when they see it, but the sense of touch is often equally critical to our perception of space. A paragon of accessible design, the Louis Handle is proof that the most intentional interior products offer an entirely different sensory phenomenon, where architecture can be fully experienced by all.

Winner: Ideas and Prototypes
People’s Choice: Ideas and Prototypes
The Louis Handle

A deceptively simple solution, the prototype seeks to facilitate a level of convenience that many sighted people (designers included) often take for granted.

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Team
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2015
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School
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2022
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