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.

hands on door handles international design competition

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
€ 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
designboom jury
jasper morrison, industrial designer
reiser + umemoto, architects
birgit lohmann, editor-in-chief designboom
colombo design jury
michele colombo
,  president colombo design
luca colombo, vice president colombo design
carlo bartoli,  architect and industrial designer
efrem bonacina, colombo design advanced

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.

registrations are closed

07 – submit your entry / entries

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

you will be requested to supply:

1. up to 6 files for uploading to designboom
images or a composition of more images) of your project.
please note: use only .gif, .jpeg, (72 dpi) max 150 kb each file, RGB color mode.
image size: 818 pixels wide.

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)

submissions are closed


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
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 [email protected]
make sure to write

hands on door handles in the subject line.

11 – info on COLOMBO DESIGN


technical inquiries