Architectural

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1144 Handle

1990

A door handle made of aluminium and finished with clear anodising. Also produced in stainless steel.

This door handle represented a big step for me, partly because it was to be mass produced and partly because I found a new way of working. In both respects I owe a lot to Jürgen Braun of FSB for offering me this first industrial project. Following the “ready-mades” and the adaptation of basic, recognisable object types to make new objects, I had come to believe that it was not the designer’s job to invent form, just to apply it in the right places at the right time and for good enough reasons.

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I had a catalogue from a company in the East End of London called W. H. Clark Ltd. who supplied equipment for trade vehicles, motorised, horse or human powered, and looking through it one day I found the direction for the door handle in the form of what was described as a coach handle. I followed up this discovery by using the form of a light bulb for the door knob, and a wing nut for the door lock. This process of not trying to invent anything while being open to outside influence was similar to the idea of adapting objects for new purposes, but more sophisticated, and somehow the economy of recycling a form seemed more rigorous than trying to invent one.
Extracted from Everything but the Walls by Jasper Morrison (Lars Müller Publishers, 2006)
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