Curvilinear is the newest collection of originally designed hardware from Emtek. The contemporary styled cabinet hardware was released just this September with positive reception from Emtek dealers and customers on the innovative new designs. But how did Curvilinear come about? And what was the inspiration? We’d like to take you behind the scenes and reveal the design and creation process for a new hardware collection; get an inside look at Curvilinear from inception to final product.

It all starts with an idea and a sketch. Emtek’s head industrial designer, William Zhang started the creative process with a rough drawing. Zhang used both paper/pen and the higher technology of a tablet to create initial sketches. The medium depended on the feel of a particular piece and utilizing the tool that fit the kinetic connection to it.  Whatever the method of drawing, the shapes created had to come from a grounded place, based on knowledge of style and architecture. “I was really looking to create a collection based on contemporary design”, said Zhang, “in doing so, I wanted the pieces to have flow and organic lines. Contemporary is all about simplicity. I wanted to take that style and explore more form development to create something truly unique.” He looked at modern architecture for inspiration and then began drawing his first designs for the collection.


Initial sketch of Curvilinear pieces

Once the basic ideas were mapped out, Zhang moved to creating 3D models of each design. The process of modeling was done on the computer with a 3D design program. This technology allowed him to see the design from every angle, rotate the view, and get a 360° detailed look. “The design process is one of constant exploration,” he said, “and creating a 3D model lets me get to know the design, so that I can understand the feeling it creates and get a tactile sense of it.” With 3D models created, additional members of the Emtek team joined in evaluating the designs and collaborating on the look of each piece.


3D models of Curvilinear pieces

After the team decided on a collection of designs that were innovative and stylistic, the next step was to create plastic prototypes of every piece using a state of the art 3D printer. Though the designs were agreed upon in digital format, the evaluation is not yet done; each individual piece needed to be physically created and looked at again. “It’s one thing to see it in a drawing or render, and something else entirely to hold it in your hand,” said John Teeter, Vice President of Sales at Emtek. The process is gone through step by step and even repeated until everything is just right.


In the end, Curvilinear was born. What was it about this collection that designer Zhang loved after its creation? “I love the diversity of the collection. There’s such a range of designs for people with varying tastes. You can really arrange the different pieces in so many ways to create your own style. But, I think what I loved the most was the asymmetry of every piece. You so rarely see that in design today. The symmetry was replaced with beautiful curves; it’s what makes Curvilinear so unique.”