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The Staircase: Studies of Hazards, Falls, and Safer Design

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Few scholars could have written a more erudite and comprehensive history of the staircase, on the one hand; or a more clinical analysis of their behavior-eliciting impact upon the user, on the other; but no one could have done a more distinguished job on both than this two-volume study of the subject by Dr. Templer. With it before us, it is hard to imagine what remains for us to do - except to improve both the formal beauty and functional proficiency of future stairs. -- James Marston Fitch I have waited a long time to read a work like John Templer's The Staircase. Its achievement of several objectives makes these unique volumes about buildings and about architecture. They blend the joy of aesthetics with the rigor of building science. They draw from historical, laboratory, and field research. They provide the passion of someone who clearly delights in architecture, yet they display the crispness of the analyst who sees bow buildings can better work for their users. This is a model product of architectural research. -- Michael L. Joroff, Director, MIT Laboratory of Architecture and Planning

About the Author

John Templer is Regents' Professor of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has published extensively on architecture including theory, human factors research, and designing for the elderly and disabled, and is also an expert on legal cases involving bodily injury caused by falls.


Anyone reading either of these volumes will never be able to look at staircases the same way again. By learning the history of stairs, we appreciate the rich vocabulary possible in their design and bemoan its absence in our era. By learning about safe stair construction, we come to understand how astonishingly little attention has been paid to this subject...If our public spaces are to encourage our sense of self-worth, community, and citizenship; if our private dwellings are to be more than merely machines for living, then books like this pair will undoubtedly form part of our re-education.

-Thomas Frick, Los Angeles Times

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