Minute, challenging and precious: handles at the core of contemporary design

A selection of the latest news and experiments produced by some of the main players in the business: Olivari, Mandelli and Fornari.

The handle is one of those objects that are functionally simple but have a long and stratified history, often overlooked by the history of design, but a field of investigation for many designers who have to essentially combine ergonomics and stylistic issues.

According to Alessandro Mendini "in architecture, the handle is a kind of miniature. It belongs to the history of costume, and compared to a house it has the same aesthetic task as a jewel has respect for the human body."

Olivari, Mandelli1953 and Fornari introduce innovations and experiments relating to an increasingly important furnishing element in the design of the project.

The exhibition "Enter Porcelain" in Milan was the meeting place of Olivari and Kober, companies that deal with handles and ceramic production and that invited 11 German designers to create original and unique pieces. Handles of different shapes, sizes, finishes and colours have in common the elegant combination of ceramic and brass.

Mandelli 1953 looks to the past and produces the re-edition of the PP33 handle, designed by the iconic architect Piero Portaluppi in the 1930s. Featuring glossy gold, glossy chrome and the new glossy nickel finish, the handle is the first model in a Capsule Collection dedicated to revisiting historical projects.

Inc is the new handle from Studio Piet Boon for Fornari and recently awarded the Red Dot Design Award 2019 in the Product Design category. Available in satin stainless steel or with PVD finishes, the design features curved, tapered shapes, with a cylinder tapering at the end.

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