Saturday, January 17, 2009
Getting A Handle On Design With Valli & Valli and FSB
Valli & Valli
The handle, as conceived by Valli&Valli, has traditionally conveyed a home’s style and functional elegance and, as a decorative object therein, will remain an important element of interior décor well into the future. Guided by this vision, Valli&Valli created vcr Valli&Valli and Fusital, trademark collections recognized for their technological sophistication and signature contemporary aesthetic.
I wanted to show you some door handles from their Fusital collection because they've been created by incredibly respected architects, designers and design firms whose names you probably recognize. (And if you don't, it's worth googling them).
The Fusital collection.
The Fusital collection is the flagship division of Valli & Valli and offers series designed by world-renowned architects and designers, including: Frank Gehry, Gae Alulenti, Andrée Putman, Antonio Citterio, Cini Beori, Leon Krier, Richard Meier, Eero Aarnio, Mario Bellini, and Michael Graves, among others. The collaboration between these talents and Valli & Valli’s technical specialists results in innovative products that encompass the best in contemporary design.
The project became a reality in 1976 with the establishment of the Fusital trade-mark for the creation of "artistic handles" for doors and windows. Relying on the consolidated values - industrial credibility and image strength as a basis Valli&Valli succeeded in evolving, as the premier company in its field, names from the world of top class design and international architecture, receiving always an enthusiastic response and great commitment.
The door handles shown below are a few examples of available styles designed by some very impressive architects and design innovators:
above: by Zaha Hadid and Woody Yao. This door handle was the recipient of the impressive Grandesign Etico International Award in 2008.
above: two handles by Frank Gehry.
above: handle by Richard Meier
above: handle by Fabio Novembre. Note the fabulous heart shaped end.
above: handle by Ron Arad
above: handle by Alan Ritchie and Philip Johnson Architects
above: handle by Piano Design
above: handle by Odile Decq-Benoìt Cornette
above: handle by Jean Nouvel
above: handle by Yoshimi Kono
above: handle by Antonio Citterio with Toan Nguyen
above: handle by Gustav Piechl
All the above designs have accompanying drawer pulls, hooks and additional styles and hardware.
The designers, who up to the present day have created more than 51 collections for Valli & Valli include: Eero Aarnio, Ron Arad, Gae Aulenti, Mario Bellini, Cini Boeri, Achille Castiglioni, Cerri & Associati, David Chipperfield Architects, Antonio Citterio, Droog Design Ronald Lewerissa, D'Urbino-Lomazzi, Foster and Partners, Massimiliano e Doriana Fuksas, Frank O. Gehry, Michael Graves, Gregotti Associati, Hans Kollhoff, Yoshimi Kono, Leon Krier, Chi Wing Lo, Vico Magistretti, Angelo Mangiarotti, Richard Meier, Renzo Mongiardino, Jean Nouvel, John Pawson, Gustav Peichl, Piano Design Workshop, Andrée Putman, Alan Ritchie-Philip Johnson Architects, Aldo Rossi, Sottsass Associati, Taller Design Ricardo Bofill, Matteo Thun, Marco Zanuso.
A little history:
Nearly eighty years ago, Pasquale Valli secured a position at an umbrella factory in Veduggio, Italy, managing the department that oversaw the design and production of handles. While umbrellas of the time looked exactly the same—somber, dark and gloomy—the treatment reserved for the handle itself was wildly different. In Valli's design department, fancy took flight. The handle articulated the true personality of the umbrella and it was this piece that captured a buyer’s attention. The importance of touch and the contact between a consumer and an innovatively designed object was an experience that Pasquale Valli valued immeasurably.
Valli learned many things from his time in the handle department. He absorbed an understanding of the properties and handling of metal, including fusion techniques, the use of molds and dyes and the techniques employed for various other materials, such as plastics. Fascinated with the ergonomic relationship between hand and object, he was compelled to study at a sculptor’s studio, inciting a passion for art and commitment to artisanal craft methods. These experiences changed his life, inspiring him to become an entrepreneur.
To see the full lines and the names, dimensions and details of the designs, please visit Valli and Valli online here.
Not to be outdone, FSB has their own collection of 'name' designers for their brand. In addition to their large line of hardware and fittings, they too have had world renowned architects and designers create door levers and hardware for their brand.
above: handle by Philipe Starck
above: handle by Nicholas Grimshaw
above: handle by Christophe Ingehoven
above: handle by Erik Magnusson
above: handle by Christoph Mackler
above: handle by Hartmut Weise
above: handle by Jasper Morrison
above: handle by Hans Kollhoff
above: handle by Jahn/Lykouria
A little FSB history:
Since its foundation in 1881 FSB has lived by following market impulses. Always on the pulse of the "zeitgeist". Usually daring to anticipate new trends. Invariably committed to the traditions of craftsmanship.
Historic furniture fitting models and simple devotional articles made of brass were in demand in 1881, when the company founder Franz Schneider entered the scene of metal fittings in Iserlohn in the Sauerland hills. His success proved him right: by the turn of the century, his product range already filled a sizeable catalogue.
In 1909, the company’s founder Franz Schneider moved from the Sauerland to the Weser Hills. In Brakel, he had discovered a deserted factory site which became his permanent choice of location. He made a point of adding the letter B to his initials F and S and proudly marketed the company’s first door and window furniture in silver and black under the new company name FSB.
During the building boom in the reconstruction phase after 1945, FSB discovered light metal as a new material for its products. In Brakel, the contemporary spirit of that period featuring bag-shaped lamp shades and kidney-shaped tables was honoured with swinging, colourful entrance door designs that can still be admired today in some older shop fronts.
Between 1953 and 1963 the chaser, toolmaker and training supervisor Johannes Potente developed his classic hand form design at FSB. His designs are well-known, but nobody knows his name. The anonymous industrial design by Johannes Potente was honoured by experts in keeping with its merits only after his death. His designs were then added to famous collections of design models such as the MoMA in New York.
Under the intellectual leadership of Otl Aicher FSB has embarked on a new strategy during the last 20 years, without denying its century-old corporate tradition.
With a stylized handle (fashioned along the lines of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s door handle) and a stylized hand as a reminder that door handles are really extensions of the hand, Aicher furnished the graphical cornerstones of our new corporate image.
To see their complete lines of home fittings, hardware and more, visit the FSB site here