UNION produces over three thousand different types of door handles. Its products are made from a range of materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, iron, brass, natural wood, glass, ceramics, and leather. Designs incorporate a rich variety of techniques, shapes, and sizes. UNION's production setup allows for manufacturing both single items and mass orders, but the spirit of expert craftsmanship is the same across all designs.
UNION promises to continue fostering the communication of ideas between hardware designers and the artisans to support architects and spatial designers the world over with superb handles beyond anything ever before imagined.
For this collaborative effort, the architect Tsuyoshi Tane has analyzed the processes, materials, techniques, manufacturing traditions, and history behind UNION's handles and conceptualized how best to communicate the unbroken spirit that continues to inspire UNION's craftsmanship.
To do this, he has employed the technique of sand mold casting, one of the most ancient casting processes known to human civilization. UNION has used this technique since its inception, and still applies it today in trial productions and small-batch handle manufacturing.
In this exhibit, "One Design - One Handle," Tsuyoshi focuses on the unique artistry of sand mold casting and its application in creating exactly one handle per mold. Set at the site of a former factory, the installation will make use of an enormous collection of resources and materials to highlight handles and the processes that form them.