Alualpha’s handles that won several awards

Contemporary, innovative and exclusive, this is the latest line of window handles from Alualpha that has been highlighted in the hardware sector.

This is the result of several collaborations between INNGAGE and Alualpha. Orizon is a line of handles for doors and windows designed to offer quality, provide safety and make handling easier. The right choice for projects meant to stand out with small details that make all the difference.

Winner of a quality seal granted by the Good Design Award in 2020, this year the Orizon Line was awarded with a German Design Award 2022.

Get to know the perspective of Nuno Pires, industrial designer at INNGAGE, one of the main designers involved in the development of this project.

1. What was the problem/challenge launched by Alualpha?

This challenge came about in 2018 during the restructuring of Alualpha’s portfolio. They were not only aiming for having a greater diversity of products but also to redefine the brand strategy. Thinking of ways to improve the conventional handle and managing to recreate it as a more ergonomic, innovative and timeless product was really challenging.

2. How did you approach and structure the working process?

The market for door and window handles is very competitive. We started by analysing the market and pinpoint the competing brands. It allowed us to detect some areas of opportunity, evolve some concepts and adjust the direction of the product. We went forward to a phase of fine-tuning the look & feel of the product with several prototypes in PLA and aluminum. It allowed us to test the usability of the handles in a more realistic way. Once the product was defined, naturally the next step was to apply the concept across the entire range of products.

3. What was the key concept for the product development?

This new product family had to look simple but strong in order to stand out in the market at a competitive price.

And that’s how this concept was born. Responding to the market and offering universal applications as well as visual and tactile lightness reinforced by the interplay between curved edges and surfaces.

Besides that, it needed a neutral versatile language to be applied in the greatest number of possible contexts. All this was possible by working closely with installers and architects, to understand the features they value the most in this type of product.

4. In what way does the Orizon line differ from its competitors?

What sets Orizon apart is that the language and functionality stays cohesive throughout the entire line.

In a family of around 50 handles this is highly relevant as it ensures that all the Orizon products can share the same space with perfect visual harmony.

Despite its minimalist appearance, all surfaces were refined in order to enhance the experience of touch, the contrast of light between the different layers and the comfort of usability.

5. What were the greatest difficulties in this project?

Optimising a formula that could be replicated in all the handles of the same line was undoubtedly the greatest difficulty. It involved a lot of backtracking and parallel refinements and many prototypes.

To ensure that all the handles would be in fine tune with a cohesive visual language we went through multiple tunings and prototypes (simultaneously) in order to achieve the desired harmony.

6. It is the second international prize awarded to this product. What does it feel like?

A lot of excitement, for sure. This is one of the most prestigious international industrial design awards! It makes us very proud to see the quality of our work being recognised by a large panel of renowned specialist judges in the area of design. Another aspect that we find very positive is the growing appreciation of design as a strategic tool for the development of products and brands. This was only possible thanks to Alualpha’s trust in our work. It is an award that validates the success of our methodology and the result of a good collaboration.

7. What opportunities can a German Design Award bring?

A Design Award always brings great opportunities to INNGAGE. It is always very gratifying to see our work being recognised. Especially an award in this area not only offers recognition and prestige but also mirrors the trust and guarantees a seal of quality to our customers and their future consumers.