Series: The Silent Stars – Episode 3: Door Handles
They elegantly keep their cool in the background though upon closer inspection, you will spot the definitive influence of door handles, window handles, skirting boards, switches and sockets on the room as a whole. We will show you how to find exactly the right touch to accent your home amidst a slightly bewildering sea of options.
„Haptics“ – a term adored by designers and interior decorators alike. They also like to talk about „haptic qualities“ and take a relaxed approach when it comes to purchasing items that our sort might at first find questionable. So what exactly does haptics mean?
It is a sister of optics. It refers to the science of light in the broader sense of vision: haptics is the sense of touch. This is where designers and interior decorators come into play. They focus not only on optics but also make sure that pieces look good. They also very much appreciate when they feel good – especially for things we touch every day countless times. Like door handles.
In order for a door handle to fit the hand nicely and function properly, it must possess a variety of characteristics:
- a rest for the thumb that provides a transition between the grip and rotation axis;
- an indent for the forefinger at precisely this transition;
- a size that fits the hand so it can grasp it with ease.
The material is important in determining a pleasant feel. The most popular material currently is stainless steel, sometimes polished, sometimes sanded though lightweight aluminium, antibacterial copper, bronze, classic brass, chrome, wood, plastic and various material combinations are also available.
Once you perform a detailed series of tests in a shop with a wide selection of door fittings, there is no doubt in your mind: amazingly few of many, many handles meet all of your requirements. Because hands are very different. And because some designers have yet to master an optimal combination of optics and haptics. That is why door handles are a design detail that should not be left up to internet research alone. (One can also tell a good door handle based on an appropriate and equally well-designed window handle.)
Astonishing: in many other countries, this variety is nowhere to be found. In these places, mainly the doorknob is used. Why, you ask? You definitely need one hand free to turn it and it should not be wet. Have the Americans, English and French had bad experiences with door handles that have been opened by young children, clever dogs or cats? We can only speculate. At any rate, we look forward to the next time we can open the kitchen door using an elbow with a full tray in hand.