thor ter kulve has introduced ‘push’, a do-it-yourself, low tech solution that can change the way we use buttons in public spaces. feeling useless and restless in lockdown, but with access to his workshop, the london-based designer set out to build a simple device that would prevent people from touching the same spot, in order to eliminate sources of COVID-19 infection.

push a covid 19 city hack 1
all images courtesy of thor ter kulve



known for physically hacking public spaces and creating parasitic objects with alternative use, with this project, thor ter kulve has decided to add to the arsenal of things we can do prevent the spread of the coronavirus. with the ‘push’ device, people can avoid touching traffic light buttons, activating them by hitting a large lever.this can be achieved with a person’s knee, elbow, hip, or walking stick. due to the difference in balancing, the lever resets itself ready for the next pedestrian. 

push a covid 19 city hack 2



the project was made out of what was available in the designer’s studio: an angle grinder, a welder and some leftover 3mm mild steel sheets. ‘push’ is a simple device that can easily be manufactured at large or in small DIY making hubs. push is specifically designed for the UK traffic light buttons, however it could easily be adapted for other public buttons as well. 

push a covid 19 city hack 3


push a covid 19 city hack 4


push a covid 19 city hack 5


push a covid 19 city hack 6
DIY plans, not to scale.


push a covid 19 city hack 7



project info:


name: push
designer:  thor ter kulve




designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom