simple handrail redesign lets older users rest for a while when climbing

simple handrail redesign lets older users rest for a while when climbing

a simple adjustment to the traditional design of a staircase serves as a resting place for users that find it difficult to climb. the ‘rest for a while’ staircase alters parts of the handrail to create a seat where people can take a break.

simple handrail redesign lets older users rest for a while when climbing



the ‘rest for a while’ staircase handrail was designed by shenzhen jinwei innovation design company (SJDC) as a way to make staircases more accessible for older users or those with a physical disability. it specifically tackles residential buildings in china that are not equipped with elevators.


the clever design hack offers a simple solution that could be applied with minimal difficulty and without getting in the way of current use of the staircase. SJDC envisions simply altering staircases in building’s where a newly created ‘resting zone’ would help resident’s access their apartment.

simple handrail redesign lets older users rest for a while when climbing



‘by redesigning the existing stair railings, you only need to add a little bit of material to allow tired people the chance to sit down and rest’, said the studio. it could also help to encourage people to use the stairs instead of only using elevators to keep them active. the ‘rest for a while’ staircase handrail is a winner of the if design award for the year 2020.


project info


company: shenzhen jinwei innovation design company (SJDC)

name: rest for a while staircase

  • There’s a 50% chance that the old folks (or even whoever seated on it) will fall backwards and roll down the stairs.

  • Perhaps a better idea would be a little seat in the outside corner of the landing. I agree with the others that the rail should be continuous on the inside of stair towers for visually impaired or in case of fire.

  • It’s a brilliant design but never a brilliant idea. If the problem is with elderly needing to take a rest, wouldn’t they just need to sit at the steps? Plus this is at absolutely no cost! Sometimes a simple problem just need a direct simple solution. Stop overthinking in the name of “design”!

  • Would not a chair at landings serve the same purpose; and at less cost?

    Myron Daniel Steinman
  • The idea of creating a rest space is brilliant. Considering the very valid reader comments, perhaps you would reconsider designing a fold down seat on landings. Such a seat could well become compulsory and help us all. After all, it’s just a matter of time before we all get there.

    Yael Alon
  • Let the handrail fulfil its desired purpose since it’s not an aesthetic element but a functional need for the staircase… handrail be handrail and bench, if needed, should be added as a bench!! Random mix can be disastrous sometimes..

    Kapil Jain
  • Experience in participatory design in similar projects tells me that users who need and use staircase handrail, also need and use handrail for sitting down and getting up, as well as a bit deeper seat. So I believe this idea is nice, but should be checked out with people who would use it and benefit from it.

  • Seemed like a So-So idea when I scrolled through the article. Seems like an entirely bad idea when I scrolled through the legit arguments against it in the comments.

  • I absolutely loved that idea, but this solution would not comply with disability standards in so many countries. Blind people are following the rail as they move and this solution does not work for them. Good old folding seat might be a solution here!

    Marta Cherednik
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