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Hands on door handles international design competition

C A L L – F O R – E N T R I E S
designboom in collaboration with COLOMBO DESIGN promote an
international design competition. participation is open to to applicants
from every country in the world, to professionals, students, and design-enthusiasts.
free registration required.

participants are asked to design a versatile interior door lever handle to suit contemporary
forms of surrounding architecture, for both residential and public projects.

01 – the subject of the international competition contest is

hands on door handles

COLOMBO DESIGN, a leading italian manufacturer of handles and accessories for doors and windows,
is dedicated to a discerning quality of design that combines technological innovation with
excellence in industrial manufacturing procedures, adopting only eco-compatible processes
in every stage of production. the COLOMBO DESIGN state-of-the-art product catalogue features door handle
projects created by protagonists of today’s international design scene, among them
carlo bartoli, jean marie massaud, jasper morrison, michele de lucchi, alberto meda and konstantin grcic.
with this competition, COLOMBO DESIGN aims to expand the horizons of door handles.

the door handle is an exciting medium
in the field of internal door and window furniture the path between innovation and what is
considered repetition or re-design of ‘classical’ forms is narrow. if it is true that through the
years the most successful models have been variations on basic forms, it is also true that
door handles are an exciting medium for contemporary forms. along the qualitative line
of their long formal (sculptural) tradition, door handles have always expressed and matched
the changing lifestyle choices of society. this competition is a difficult aesthetic and technical
challenge to stimulate design innovation with much attention to detail.

for everyday use, and not for gadget display
we are not looking for excessive-aggressive styling or new radical high tech solutions.
please refrain from all those overworked concepts of randomly including interactive technologies
to encourage behavioral transformation. door handle designs with incorporated LED lights,
the latest cool audio or video gadgets, cell phones etc. will not be considered as relevant.
this is an opportunity of developing a real product, a simple, but important functional object.
the scope of the co-organizing company COLOMBO DESIGN is to manufacture the best door handles
of this competition.

the basics of door lever handle hardware
sweeping forms are great, a sleek and shiny appearance too, but please also consider that
indoor handles use commonly marketed mechanical parts, which are conforming to the
relevant building and safety standards. the actual sizes of the levers vary, but convenient
measurements have been widely adopted and hardware manufacturers make their products
to fit these standards. the bore hole size, cross bore size and the thickness of the doors are
to be considered, (in the case of non-standard door thicknesses, customized pins are available).
most door handle levers are mounted on a round rose, however new designs may include square,
oval and other shapes of roses. other important factors are robustness, the thickness of the
rose plates, smooth or angular finished edges (for purposes of visual accentuation), …
last but not least, the handle set itself (as a door has two sides, a door requires two handles
– a left and a right version).

click here to visualize a drawing that shows an example of a door handle, produced by COLOMBO DESIGN

experimental projects are very welcome and considered appropriate if they match the few technical
requirements cited. in this case, a pragmatic design approach of ‘making do’ to verify the quality
of your door handle design through mock-ups or prototypes is very appreciated.


02 – awards

the designers of 3 winning entries will be granted with cash prize awards
of € 3000 euro each.

the jury will also award the best free-style entry with a minor award of € 1000 euro.
there is the opportunity for finalist / winning designs to be developed into real products
for the COLOMBO DESIGN design catalogue. in the event that COLOMBO DESIGN exercises the option
to use the rights for production
on an exclusive basis and sine die (without time limitations),
COLOMBO DESIGN undertakes to pay a royalty of annual sales to the designer.

and as always, designboom will publish an exhaustive results report.

03 – jury
jury is in process of being selected

04 – design criteria
projects should not be currently in production,
previously published or exhibited projects are not accepted!
it is important that you keep your design(s) confidential until the results of
the competition are published.

the jury will award designs and concepts which are innovative in terms of their formal aspects.
please don’t send in vague concepts, but go a step further. it’s not the idea which is the art,
it’s more the way somebody handles the idea that makes art.

05 – registration deadline
application registration will be accepted through april 20th, 2011.

06 – registration
registrations are open now, please fill in the form.
teams register with one name only.
– when submitting works you should add all team member’s names.
register here

07 – submit your entry / entries

if you are entering more than one work,
please submit each work separately

you will be requested to supply:

1. up to 3 files for uploading to designboom
images or a composition of more images) of your project.
please note: use only .gif, .jpeg, (72 dpi) max 100 kb each file, RGB color mode.
image size: 650 pixels width X max 800 pixels height.
to upload your images please note:
use only .gif, .jpeg, (72 dpi) max 150 kb each file, RGB color mode.

the entry submitted is a low-res version of your original work.
these original high-resolution image(s)
will be requested only if your work is shortlisted.

2. explanation of ideas
a brief description of your design.
(english text only, explanation is expected to be very concise)

3. you will be requested to accept the competition guidelines
competition guidelines: projects participating to the competition,
must be original works. projects must be free from copyrights
and any kind of obligation. the design shall not in any way infringe
any third party’s right, including but not limited to copyright, logos,
trademark, trade names, or other proprietary rights of publicity or
privacy. only entries with a declaration of authorship are accepted !
(when submitting your design you will be asked to tick a box of declaration)

submit your entry here

08 – deadline for submission of entries
works can be submitted through april 26, 2011.

09 – announcement of the results
results will be announced on june 2011
the jury’s selection is final and is not debatable.

10 – intellectual property rights
any moral and paternity right regarding the project sent in for submission is the designer’s property.
by submitting a design in the competition, the participant agrees to provide
COLOMBO DESIGN with the right of first refusal to the exclusive use of
the design. this option is valid for 6 months after the competition will end.
in the event that COLOMBO DESIGN exercises the option to use the rights for production
on an exclusive basis and sine die (without time limitations),
COLOMBO DESIGN undertakes to pay a royalty of annual sales to the designer.
by participating in the competition, all participants authorise DESIGNBOOM
and COLOMBO DESIGN to publish and exhibit all the designs (including project data submitted)
– waiving compensation – at exhibitions and events and/or to use them in any
publications or communications that the organisers may deem suitable and/or necessary.

11 – questions?
inquiries to
make sure to write

hands on door handles in the subject line.

11 – info on COLOMBO DESIGN

art, contest, decoration, minimalist

Teshima art museum

Teshima Art Museum

An architecture report from Teshima Island by Raymund Ryan

The enigmatic emergence of a museum that is in principle “empty”: a true sensory experience created by Ryue Nishizawa and Rei Naito

The blob is not only a recent phenomenon; the contiguously curving building is not merely the result of parametric manipulation on the computer. Twentieth-century modernism was imbued with many wantonly non-orthogonal forms, from Kiesler’s theoretical Endless House to Niemeyer’s sensuous concrete gestures in Brazil and other sunny climes. Such proposals blur the quantifiable, fuse the in-between, and appeal to our emotions. The Teshima Art Museum may not automatically reveal the authorship of its architect Ryue Nishizawa. It certainly seems unconventional when first discerned amid the stepped green fields of Teshima, an island in Japan’s Inland Sea. The museum billows upward as a white, bulbous and irregular excrescence. This note of irregularity – its gently shifting morphology – marks the structure as being somehow different from any generic shell or strictly rational building. The first-time visitor may also be surprised by how big or, more correctly, how extensive the project is – it stretches over 60 metres along its longer axis. As you move across the landscape, adjusting to changes in elevation, the building appears to change volume, inflating and deflating like some seamless dirigible. And then you notice an aperture puncturing this smooth carapace, a dark circular opening like the blowhole of a static beast. It’s a strange thing this Teshima Art Museum. There’s no immediately obvious point of entry. The use of exposed concrete suggests an industrial facility amid the bucolic if highly tailored nature of the island; yet the concrete also assumes a mysteriously soft shape (what could be inside?) and is unusually white (the absence of colour or the blending of all colours?) surrounded here by the verdant fields and a stand of trees towards the Inland Sea. You next notice a second and smaller blobular pavilion – a shop and cafe. You spot a dainty ribbon of raised concrete path. Then you discover a ticket office tucked into a hillside slope. This latter location is the starting point for a rather wonderful promenade.

Section Architecture
Author Raymund Ryan
Photography Iwan Baan
Published 09 Dec 2010
Keywords Nishizawa
Location Teshima Island


The complex is also equipped with a pavilion that contains a museum shop and a cafe as well as a ticket office hidden in the hillside. A gently winding pathway sweeps past the entrance, before continuing its journey into the surrounding landscape.

The concrete path loops away from the architecture into the trees, offering glimpses of sea and snatches of sound from the water below – the put-put of a distant boat – before circling back to the enigmatic white concrete shell. It’s unlikely that visitors come here entirely unprepared, without expecting some sensory, cultural or artistic experience. The Teshima project follows on from Tadao Ando’s halfdozen buildings on Naoshima, an adjacent island where Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima built the skeletal and orthogonal ferry terminal. Sejima is also inserting several jewel-like pavilions into the village fabric of Inujima, a second neighbouring island. All exist thanks to the patronage of the Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum Foundation.

The Teshima Art Museum catches its visitors off guard. It calls itself a museum, but its exhibition space is very far from the traditional view of architecture for museums, with their masses of jumbled objects and works of art. In fact, on Teshima Island visitors are left alone to contemplate an experience with nature made of light, water and air.

So you find yourself on a comparatively remote Japanese island, enjoying the village life and ocean air, trying to understand the entirety and indeed the full purpose of this unapologetically contemporary and unusual structure. You continue along the narrow concrete path, dipping slightly, to discover the Teshima Art Museum re-emerging between the trees, its low white curve holed now by a second dark oculus sinking towards the ground plane. Then you observe a protrusion morphing out from the main body of the building as a stretched, contiguous surface. This limb is cropped close to the footpath to permit access, through a tunnellike entrance, into the belly of the mysterious beast. If the building is unorthodox, its name is also strange, perhaps even disingenuous. The Teshima Art Museum is almost completely empty, devoid of contents. Its interior is fluid, a concrete membrane carpeting the ground and wrapping up from shadowy edges to span as a low unobstructed dome overhead. Neither columns nor beams interrupt the organic singularity of the total volume. Similarly there is none of the clutter normally associated with museums.

“It’s a strange thing this Teshima Art Museum. There’s no immediately obvious point of entry.”

Nishizawa designed the Teshima Art Museum in association with the artist Rei Naito, cognisant of her methodologies and of her interests in natural phenomena of water, light and air. A decade ago, Naito reworked a traditional house on Naoshima, incising a linear void beneath opaque clay walls and placing an inscrutable ring of smooth stone to hover, it appears, above the earthen floor. On Teshima her work is even more immaterial – there is, essentially, nothing. In the 20th century, architects and engineers such as Félix Candela in Mexico and Heinz Isler in Switzerland determined the design of concrete shells through pragmatic research. Like those masters, Nishizawa has striven for optimal thinness (his concrete structure is in total 250 millimetres thick) and to allow such thinness to be legible without the visual intrusion of beams, in particular edge beams about exposed openings. However, Nishizawa is also thinking metaphorically. He likens the shape of the gallery to a drop of water, a blob complete with a small protrusion (the entryway) suggesting that it has only just landed or become solid. For now Naito’s installation is for the collection of rainwater, allowing nature into this novel structure through the two large, unglazed openings. The water simply ponds or coagulates on the concrete floor. From the interior, you experience the outside in slightly strange ways. Through one oculus, you see foliage moving in the breeze. Up above, you see the sky as a disk: blue, grey, white, black. You may well have hiked a considerable distance to come to these islands, having heard of the famous architects and the famous artists, only to be re-presented with – and be surprisingly inspired by – the elements that surround us all. Nishizawa’s building evokes a faith in the ability of architecture to make the world seem somewhat strange yet simultaneously a little bit better. Raymund Ryan Testo alternativo Immagine

Opened last October, the Teshima Art Museum is the latest step in an enlightened plan that the Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum Foundation and the Corporation Benesse have been developing since 1989.
Ryue Nishizawa has laid out a mysterious white structure on the ground that is reminiscent of the shape of a water droplet. The concrete enclosure is lit by two openings and seems to inflate and deflate like a living organism. It is a shell that flows out into nature with a free span of 60 metres. The 25-cm-thick slab is free of columns or visible beams.
The plan calls for the introduction of contemporary architecture to the islands of the Inland Sea as a strategy to use cultural tourism to counter the region’s economic and demographic decline. After beginning with Tadao Ando, the architect of the Chichu Art Museum, the Lee Ufan Museum, the Art House Project and the Benesse House Museum on Naoshima, the project has also seen the involment of Kazuyo Sejima and Hiroshi Sambuichi on Inujima, and Ohtake Shinro on Naoshima.
Ryue Nishizawa and Rei Naito have worked together to create a space that stretches out horizontally, reaching a maximum height of 4.5 m. In this pavilion, art, architecture and landscape generate a single entity. It is a membrane set down on the grass, an aqueous form that has solidified in a corner of Teshima Island.

Ryue Nishizawa

‘teshima art museum’ by ryue nishizawa and rei naito on teshima island
photo © noboru morikawa photos

‘Teshima art museum’ by tokyo-based architect Ryue Nishizawa and japanese artist Rei Naito recently welcomed visitors of the 2010 setouchi international art festival held on seven islandsin the takamatsu port area, japan. hugging a hilly site on the island of teshima, the museum resembles a droplet of water caught in the middle of gliding across the land. Overlooking the inland sea to the north, the collaborative project was designed to interact with its wooded surrounding, pushing the tangible boundary between architecture and nature. Two large elliptical openings define and orient the space while letting the interior collect pieces of the elements: pools of water accumulate on the floor and freely shift and migrate according to the breeze’s direction; the sounds from the sea and foliage reverberate through the open space while the ambiance is in constant change according to the sun’s position and time of day.

collected rain water inside the museum
image courtesy lllabo

at 25 cm thick, the white concrete pod shell is devoid of any pillars or visible structural aid. The gallery space is not a result of encapsulation but a careful negotiation between the earth and the sky. visitors are encouraged to freely walk around the 40 by 60 meter museum and connect with the present phenomena.

large cut-out
photo © noboru morikawa photos

a part of rei naito’s work entitled ‘matrix’
photo © noboru morikawa photos

photo © noboru morikawa photos

a meandering path around the site take visitors around mt. myojin, a small bluff between the museum and the sea. the form and presence of the structure seemingly fluctuates with the observer’s vantage point, much like a dynamic drop of water traveling across a surface.

outside promenade art museum in context

image courtesy office of ryue nishizawa

made possible by the patronage of the naoshima fukutake art museum foundation, the teshima art museum will continue to operate after the festival, hosting activities involving art, architecture, food, the environment, and other creative intersections.

the museum adjacent to the nearby rice terraces
photo © noboru morikawa photos

site plan
image courtesy office of ryue nishizawa

contextual site plan
image courtesy naoshima fukutake art museum foundation

image courtesy office of ryue nishizawa

image courtesy office of ryue nishizawa

a model of the teshima art museum as seen at the 2012 venice architecture biennale
images © designboom

image © designboom

about Ryue Nishizawa:
born in 1966, nishizawa joined kazuyo sejima & associates in 1990,
established SANAA with her in 1995, and established his own practice
in 1997. along with sejima, he was awarded the pritzker architecture prize
in 2010. significant works include, ‘honmura lounge and archive’ (2005, naoshima),
‘moriyama house’ (2005, tokyo), and the ‘towada art center’ (2008, aomori).

about Rei Naito:
born in hiroshima in 1961, naito’s major exhibitions and projects include
‘being given’ (2001, kinza, art house project, benesse art site naoshima),
‘un luogo sulla terra’ (1997, japanese pavilion, 47th venice biennale),
‘tout anial est dans le monde comme de l’eau a interieur de l’eau’
(2009, museum of modern art, kamakura).