Thursday, 16 October 2014


I designed this.

Technically, it is a K01.0007 satin stainless steel oval door knob. I actually registered the design together with several other things I designed back in the day but no-one in China pays the slightest bit of attention to design registration. The UK is the creative powerhouse behind the manufacturing might of Chinese Industry; and all for free.

Worse, far, far worse is the attitude of major building contractors who, given a choice between a British designed and manufactured door handle and a Chinese copy at a third of the price, will always without fail go for the cheaper alternative. So, Chinese workers have no job security? Not unionised? Fourteen-hour day? No Health & Safety or protective clothing? No compensation if they are scalded by molten metal in their slippers and sandals or a machine press takes off four fingers? Sacked the next day.

Designed it did ya? Not my problem guv.
I think most people have a vision of Chinese factories as being clean. white laboratories, staffed by lines of happy, dedicated young women in white coats and bio masks. Certainly, the ones working on Samsung Galaxies look like that; that is the minimum required by Samsung when they sub-let the contract. But there are still thousands and thousands of thrown-together factories around the perimeter of every Chinese city, where low-pay and harsh conditions are the norm. 

However, the reason I mention this today is because although they ripped-off everything else I designed, they couldn’t work out how to make this knob. And I will never tell how it was done, not even here on this obscure blog.

We sold a few. There is a building somewhere nr. Oxford with 180 pairs of them and the British Embassy Algiers has one on the front door.

I still think it is lovely.

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