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Move over, Shoji

Formed over 60 years ago in Osaka, Japan, door handle manufacturer Union Corporation looked to mark the decades with an installation at the recent Milan Design Week. Called ‘One Design – One handle’, this piece was designed by architect Tsuyoshi Tane. It covered the company’s history  and showcased the most ancient techniques for the production of artisanal handles with its cutting-edge range. Coming from the country that gave you the shoji screen, one wonders where the door handle figures in the country’s social history, but the show scotches any doubt, with samples of sand mould casting – ‘one of the most ancient fusion processes known to mankind’. It seems that in a more occidental, door-focused Orient, the firm’s cornered ‘80% of the high-end domestic market’.

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