D Line is probably best-known for its contemporary iterations of Danish design classics, like Arne Jacobsen’s 1960 hardware collection, the very definition of “form meets function.” Tom Dixon, meanwhile, is one of the most distinctive designers of his generation. Both might be forgiven for resting on their laurels. Instead, they’ve joined forces to rethink the basics. For them, the future is Fat.
“We’ve spent the last 15-17 years building our label and our aesthetic, and trying to collaborate as little as possible whilst we defined what we look like,” Dixon says. But now, “it’s time to start collaborating with our new friends. Our brand principles aligned very closely with D Line’s: an emphasis on quality, endurance, innovation, and sustainability.”
The Fat collection of hardware builds on the strengths of both companies. Dixon looked to door handles for their “particularly difficult and hyper-functional set of challenges, because they’ve evolved rather than being designed.” Which, he says, often leads to hardware that privileges aesthetics over accessibility. His new collection wears its utility with pride: the generous proportions of the lever handle, key escutcheon and thumb turn, and door knockers and stops clearly articulate their identity while asserting their presence—and look good doing it.
“The route we’ve taken is to try and inflate the normal handle and give it a softer edge,” Dixon says. “So by pumping up the normal tube handle, making a very rounded end, and making the artifact fatter, we end up with something which is more grippable, less angular, and less sharp to touch.” In other words, more useful.
Fat marks the entrance of Dixon and his Design Research Studio into architectural ironmongery. Each is crafted in AISI 316 stainless steel or solid brass, freshened up with finishes including a cool charcoal and a vibrant, surprising electric blue. “Fat could go from nursery schools to hospitals to fashionable nightclubs,” Dixon says. “We found it quite challenging to do something that functions well but looks distinctively different, but we think we might have cracked it.”