At the Mercy of Stewart

You are utterly powerless. You have no say in this, and you may even be forced to face this horror. You may ask, “What horror?” I’m talking about the nightmare that thousands of Purdue students brave daily. This is the dreadful reality of the poorly designed doors of Stewart Center.

 Stewart Center is a building here at Purdue University. It looks normal and innocent from afar. Look at it:


 It’s a pretty typical building, right? Well, we move closer and we run into doors: 


 I pull the handle and it opens. Duh. I move to the inner door and it’s the same thing. 


 Right now, you still don’t see why these doors are the embodiment of evil. Let me show you why. 

When exiting the building the handles on the door are the same. They’re handles, so psychologically our brains tell our hands to pull. Wrong! Even though they’re handles (the exact same type as before), you have to PUSH to get out of the building! 


 There are other doors inside of the Stewart Center with the same confusing design. It’s not just the one’s that lead outside! Here’s one neatly marked exit: 


The question is how do you go about exiting!? 


 Hmm, you push…

 The doors function just fine. A purpose of a door is to open and close; these doors do. My issue is with their usability. There is no “ease of use”. You can’t rewire your brain to see a handle and push instead of pull. It would be more detrimental to do that, anyway. You encounter more properly designed doors than improperly designed ones. These doors go against all other doors and instances that you have ever encountered, but I can’t complain too much since they meet the fire codes. 

 There’s nothing really to be done about the handles. Unless the university decides that they are too much of a nuisance, we’re stuck with them. So I will impart some advice on how to deal with the horrific design of the handles like my friend did for me. Upon seeing that I was still struggling with these doors, he said that I should pretend that I’m fleeing. In order to pull the door open I would have to slow down and pause. I’m being chased, I don’t have the time to pause, so I push on the door and escape safely. You can follow his advice or you can look for the boxes. 


 If you can see the hinge that means you push on the door.

They’re a terrible design, and it’s obvious that little thought went in to picking a door with handles when you’re supposed to push, but life could be worse than just being at the mercy of Stewart.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s