The historic handle born in the 1960s is reinterpreted and updated by architect Francesco Lucchese

Open a door. Then close it. And then opening it again. How many times do we perform this gesture every day? And to open, close, open again, close again, we use our hands. And, along with our hands, the handle. An object that can be discreet, barely noticeable or with a strong personality, so commonplace that it often ends up being little considered, almost undervalued. The handle (from the Latin 'manicula', diminutive of 'manua', i.e. hand that fills the hand) has always had a binding relationship with the human limb. In short, we have to deal with handles on a daily basis. If, in addition to being functional and technologically advanced, they are also beautiful to look at and pleasant to touch and grip, then the simple act of opening a door can also become a small pleasure.

From blacksmiths and craftsmen to architects and designers

But when was the handle born? There is a date: 1878, when the American inventor Osborn Dorsey registered the first patent in the United States. Before that, projections or bars were used to push or pull a door. In the decades that followed, the handle remained an architectural element for blacksmiths or craftsmen. It was only at the beginning of the 20th century that architects began to design handles: Walter Gropius, in 1923, designed a model that became one of the symbols of modernism, one of the first objects produced by the Bauhaus to be marketed.

Made in Italy excellence

The handle is one of those products destined to last, characterised by both aesthetic beauty and functionality and quality. It is the result of the creativity of architects and designers who, working with cutting-edge companies, have written the history of design with pieces that have become iconic. Among the excellence of made in Italy, Ghidini (founded in 1929 by Pietro Bosco Ghidini) represents a long history of handles and coordinates. The company's development is part of the artisan and industrial tradition that characterises the Val Trompia. In 1950, the entry of the second generation into the company led to the creation of new factories and a constant process of technological innovation. Currently, a series of acquisitions has led to the organisation of a larger production reality united under the Ghidini Group brand that today, at the beginning of 2023, presents the new version of Farfalla, a handle born sixty years ago.

An all-round creative

Ghidini chose Francesco Lucchese for this restyling project. The architect designs for Italian and international companies in the furnishing sector, tackling product design in its entirety by taking care of related aspects through art direction and including marketing strategy, brand identity design, showrooms and exhibition corners, curating exhibitions, advertising campaigns and photo shoots.

The return of Farfalla

In the 1960s, the first semblance of domestic design, almost all the doors of homes in Milan were fitted with the Farfalla handle in die-cast and chrome-plated zamak, with a shape reminiscent of a butterfly's wings. Today the company re-proposes it in the new interpretation of the architect Lucchese, who has modernised it, stylising it with more rounded lines and more solid volumes, with a more ergonomic and wider handle, with a chromatic research that expands the selection of finishes, in a mix between the mood of the fabulous Sixties and contemporary interior design trends. A true metamorphosis that always draws inspiration from nature and transforms the product into an architectural design element.

An important partnership

Distributor of Farfalla is Tecnomat, a loyal partner of Ghidini in this product launch phase. A partnership that wants to involve the public of architects to whom Tecnomat turns to provide concrete answers to specific design requirements.