Qwerty Elemental (Handbags) by Patrizia Donà
2019 - 2020, Platinum A' Fashion and Travel Accessories Design Award Winner
The durability is femininity of QWERTY design built in the Donà's collection of the same name. It evolved from Donà's fascination with the highly aesthetical and complex mechanical object - the Remington typewriter. It is one of the earliest brands of typewriters, dating from 1874. The name of the collection “Qwerty” refers to the oldest typing template that was invented by a newspaper editor Christopher Sholes in 1868 and sold to Remington in 1873. Unchanged for 150 years, it was designed to prevent the metal arms of the typewriter letters from clashing and jamming. So what Sholes basically did was to place the most frequently used letters as far apart as possible, making the typist's fingers (at that time, which was the practice that persisted throughout the next century, all typists were women) do the work. In a 1888 Manual of the Typewriter, John Harrison explained, "The typewriter is especially adapted to feminine fingers. They seem to be made for typewriting. The typewriting involves no hard labor and no more skill than playing the piano."
Just like typewriters’ design evolution shows the transformation from a highly complex visual form to the clean-lined, simple geometric form, Qwerty-elemental is the embodiment of strength, symmetry, and simplicity. Constructive steel parts made by various craftsmen are distinctive visual feature of the product, which gives the bag an architectonic appearance.The highlight of "Qwerty" collection were the typewriter keys, firstly re-applied from the original Remington typewriters, and later, according to Donà's design, constructed and manufactured by a metal craftsmen company. Since 2013 Donà has her own production of typewriter keys.
Design Challenges
making a tool for typewriter keys, it took ca six months to develop a "machine" for typewriter keys production
Production Technology
For the realization of this collection Donà collaborated with different manufactures with one aim: to improve each detail to the level of excellence and to combine craft and industrial methods of production. The typewriter keys are made from brass metal sheet. We made special tools for the typewriter keys production. Using these tools a brass sheet is going through a several stages: cutting, curvature, perforation. Next step is galvanization (electroplating) and finally assembling the chrome ring with laser cut disk with engraved sign (letter, number…). Hardware are cut and highly polished from stainless steel by metal craftsman. For the leatherwork Donà found skilled craftsman who use time-honored tanning and finishing techniques (hand-finished edges). The product shows old tried and tested techniques and materials, but a modern and up-to-date design approach.
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