Working in a Kaleidoscope
FSB - Franz Schneider Brakel GmbH + Co KG
Nieheimer Strasse 38
T: +49 5272 608-0
F: +49 5272 608-300
At FSB, we have been making products for hands for 125 years – or, more precisely, handles and latches for doors and windows.
Leafing through our current handbook, you will learn something about the complexity of these seemingly so simple and commonplace articles. A comprehensive choice of materials, surface finishes, handle designs, specialized models for various applications and accessories to match results in a product range currently comprising more than 20,000 individual parts – all objects that serve only one purpose: to give the human hand a tool for opening entrances and exits. A simple task, you might think. Yet one well worth our attention, and also worth asking a few questions about.
The significance of the commonplace.
Just stop and think how often you firmly grip a door handle every day, and how many different types of handholds and handles are part of our daily lives. But also, how often these become a nuisance wh enever they do not fulfil their tasks due to ergonomic or functional deficiencies. You will soon conclude that your hands are holding an object that deserves no less attention than a comfortable chair, a table that doesn’t wobble or a desk lamp that is both useful and decorative.
Grasping the grip.
When we looked back on our company history in the 1980s and carried out a thorough examination of our entrepreneurial activities, a fundamental discussion was initia ted, which resulted in a completely new awareness of our products and our identity. Our mentor Otl Aicher, co-founder of the legendary “Advanced School of Design“ in Ulm and designer for the Olympic Games in Munich kept a critical eye on this process. He suggested that we should record the results of our discussions in a book, an idea that already focussed our attention on ourselves during our search for a title.
A book about FSB – of necessity, this also had to be a book about grasping and handles. After all, the way people make contact with our products is by reaching for door handles. A holistic approach to cultural history, philosophy, psychology, anatomy, ergonomics, design and production processes creates an entirely new view of t he origin of handles and their interaction with human hands and minds. This multifaceted view of a mundane form of interaction still inspires us in our effort to develop products and solutions that will fulfil their purpose to perfection.