Rene Siebum manipulates door handles to explore the sense of touch

Eindhoven designer Rene Siebum has added textures to a set of commercial door handles to investigate ways of making them more interesting to touch (+ slideshow).

Touch A Sense of Nearness by Rene Siebum
Melted plastic

Rene Siebum's Touch study resulted in 24 iterations of an aluminium door handle bought from a local hardware store.

Touch A Sense of Nearness by Rene Siebum
Latex

"I noticed it is one of the most commonly used in new-build housing in the Netherlands, but also when traveling abroad it's a recognisable model," Siebum told Dezeen.

Touch A Sense of Nearness by Rene Siebum
Sand and latex

"I took this model as a metaphor and realised that the round hand grip like this one evokes the least sensorial stimuli."

Touch A Sense of Nearness by Rene Siebum
Chipwood

The designer added a range of different materials to the handles, including sand and different types of plastic.

Touch A Sense of Nearness by Rene Siebum
Latex and liquid plaster

He also used a variety of processes to alter the metal, grinding and sanding it back to make it thinner and more delicate, and carving it to provide texture.

Touch A Sense of Nearness by Rene Siebum
Soapstone

"I first looked at how our sense of touch communicates with us, I realised the basic elements for our touch sense are texture, structure, volume and temperature," said Siebum.

Touch A Sense of Nearness by Rene Siebum
Iron wire, metal rings and wood

"I started the research with the idea, to take the basic known model and distort it, exploring what the model would 'give' me. From there on I started to explore the change of texture, volume, structure and changed the materiality to play with temperature as well."

Touch A Sense of Nearness by Rene Siebum
Aluminium and iron wire

In one instance, the handle was chopped up into slices along its length then stuck back together haphazardly.

Touch A Sense of Nearness by Rene Siebum
Aluminium, sand, and latex "pasta"

Another version is wrapped in a coil of metal wire, while another copies the shape of the handle with an open web of the same material.

Touch A Sense of Nearness by Rene Siebum
Aluminium and iron wire

Other recreations were formed from wood, chipboard and soapstone – chosen for their different tactile qualities.

Touch A Sense of Nearness by Rene Siebum
Aluminium and wax

For more experimental designs, Siebum built up layers of sand and latex to create a light, flexible model that is malleable when warm.

Touch A Sense of Nearness by Rene Siebum
Foam

He melted a plastic version until it bubbled, then left it to cool so it set with smooth bumps across its surface.

Touch A Sense of Nearness by Rene Siebum
Black MDF

Touch was presented during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven earlier this year.