Tracing back to their shared origins in Italy, the Pittella and dnd collaboration brings a carefully curated selection of dnd’s best 12 designs to the Australian market, manufactured with Pittella’s leading-edge technology.
For over 50 years, dnd has transformed brass into handles of the highest quality standards and design. In 1968, FMN Martinelli (as it was then known) was founded under the leadership of Angelo Martinelli in the valleys of Brescia, Lombardy in central-north Italy. This is an area with centuries of knowledge in the steel industry, dating back to the Metal Ages, and has become well respected over the years as the centre of Italian metallurgy manufacturing.
In the late 1990s, Simone worked alongside his late father Felice with the Martinelli family to produce and introduce a range of classical fittings into their core collection. Now, 30 years on, the two companies have reunited with the Martinelli family and under the stewardship of the next generation, Simone Pittella and siblings Pietro and Simona, to continue this natural generational collaboration.
Together the companies have worked to introduce 12 key lines to the Australian market, with a focus on contemporary design paying respects to neo-classical, Art Deco, and other key design influences throughout history.
“The market was hungry for something new; for us, it was above delivering innovative designs, relevant to the Australian market and manufactured to the highest standards that we have come to represent. It was these synergies that led us to the collaboration with dnd,” says Simone Pittella.
“We will never compromise on our manufacturing standards and our fixing technology that delivers reliability and longevity to our clients.
“The collaboration allows Pittella’s clients access to dnd design with the confidence of Pittella’s fixing system, enabling us to invigorate the Australian architectural and design market.”
From the outset, it is clear the companies share the same artisanal values for materiality and the craft of the ‘artigiani’ that they work with.
Case in point, rare techniques like hand polishing are still employed by both companies, despite being overtaken in many instances of modern-day manufacturing techniques.
Both companies share a love of brass for its hardiness, fusibility and versatility. Contrary to other materials (such as aluminum or zinc), it is the different colouring of the oxides that enable the vast array of finishes that can be produced for any given product.
The collaboration also introduces the special PVD finishing, or ‘forte; as it is called by dnd. This is a special finish designed to mimic many of the natural brass finishes (for example, polished, satin or aged brass), but delivers high resistance to abrasion, scratching and corrosion. It is also impenetrable to solvents and cleaning products.
However, it is not only the history, love of brass and old-fashioned workmanship that bonds the two companies but a deep-rooted understanding and philosophy that the door handle is “the frontline of the architecture, a modest, but also an indispensable declaration of intent.” In this way, the door handle is seen as an essential design element in the transition between inside and out.
To this end, both companies share a true creative dialogue and have worked with many renowned designers and architects to develop and introduce new designs to the market. Notably, Marco Pisati, Jaime Hayon, and Stefano Boeri.
Industrial designer Giulio Iacchetti was responsible for the creation of the Ginkgo door handle and door pull, which leads to the new 12-line collection. Since 2017, Iacchetti has been the art director for dnd and has produced work for brands including Alessi, Artemide, Foscarini, Ceramiche Refin, Danese, Fontana Arte, Magis, Moleskine and Pandora.
Directors Simone and Charlotte Pittella will be joining Iachetti at the upcoming Salone di Mobile this June to discuss the inspiration behind the Ginkgo and what he forecasts for new product design.
For dnd and Pittella, catching up in June will also represent an opportunity to meet and celebrate the beauty in the Italian way of life and all things ‘fatto in Italia’.
Images courtesy of Pittella.