NeoCon 2024 Preview: TOCCO by pba

NeoCon 2024 Preview: TOCCO by pba

Ideas become reality at this year’s NeoCon 2024, which kicks off in Chicago next week on June 10, 2024. TOCCO is one such example. This collaboration between Italian designer and manufacturer pba, UK-based RainlightSTUDIO, and Kay Sargent, a Cognitive and Sensory Wellbeing Design Consultant, was once just an idea. But, the trio wanted to deepen their understanding of sensory stimulation in the built environment, and TOCCO is the end result of what happened as they imagined a more inclusive option.

A door pull from the TOCCO Collection by pba.

TOCCO is a collection of door handles, pulls, and levers for neuroinclusive environments. TOCCO, which is an acronym, stands for Tactile, Only regenerated nylon, Colorful, Cognitive wellbeing, and One-word.

“Design is an orchestration of all the senses to create a sense of belonging in the moment, and touch is our true connection with reality,” says Yorgo Lykouria, Creative Principal at RainlightSTUDIO. “The door handle represents the first touch a person experiences with a building, or a room. We look to a more human approach that defies expectation, evoking a welcome sense of wonder.”

An array of TOCCO colors and textures.

TOCCO’s grip is made from a material called ECONYL®. ECONYL is 100% regenerated nylon from wasted fishing nets, carpets destined for landfills, plastic components, and fabric scraps from old mills.

The various grips of sporting equipment and the TOCCO door handles.

ECONYL’s polymers become a grip that presents as secure, warm, and comfortable. Equally important, especially for those who are neurodivergent and possibly hypersensitive to certain sounds, colors, textures, and temperatures, the material’s temperature matches the environment it’s in. TOCCO will never be too hot or too cold. Like Goldilock’s favorite porridge, TOCCO is just right.

The various color options of TOCCO.

The TOCCO Collection is meant to be an option in “renewal projects.” In other words, when designers are updating and transforming what’s there into something more welcoming.

A textured blue TOCCO handle leading into a bathroom.

Installers won’t need to outfit a whole new door or purchase any other pre-existing components to make TOCCO pulls and levers work. TOCCO comes with common designs and standard fixing systems.

A dark red TOCCO door pull.

Designers have the option to choose from a variety of colors and textures of TOCCO handles, allowing them to better address the preferences and needs of their users.

TOCCO door pull in yellow

Cognitive and Sensory Wellbeing Design Consultant Kay Sargent, who worked on this design, says, “All we know about designing for inclusion should be applied to every element within the build environment …including the hardware. No detail is too small, as they all impact the experience we have and add to the overall solution.”

TOCCO was a 2024 NYCXDESIGN Awards Honoree.

The TOCCO Collection is a 2024 Interior Design magazine NYCXDESIGN Awards Honoree in the Architectural Products category. TOCCO has a Declare “Red List Free” Label and is also made of fully recyclable stainless steel. TOCCO can be completely dismantled for easy recycling.

If you’d like to share your opinion and advance research in the field of neurodiversity and the built environment, please share your thoughts. Take pba’s Sensory Stimulation Survey here.

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