The Hublot Design Prize shines a light on today's talents, the design stars of tomorrow
The 6th edition of the Hublot Design Prize is awarded to Mohammed Iman Fayaz for his work Independence of expression & cultural diversity and gender. A name to remember! Design is part of our daily life; it surrounds us and inspires us, asking questions and delivering social and environmental messages. And those who excel in the field can become household names; a promising creative talent can one day soar to be designer with worldwide renown. This is the primary objective of the Hublot Design Prize, to provide a springboard for talented designers. The Pierre Keller Award goes to Eva Feldkamp and Federica Fragapane
“One day, the name of a designer can become known across the world, and his or her name grows to be associated with iconic objects from our daily life; remarkable, timeless pieces which adorn and inhabit our homes. However, in order to go from the shadows to the limelight in this way – from object to icon, from promise to renown – stimulus is needed, and that is what the Hublot Design Prize provides. For us, the Hublot Design Prize is a reminder of where we have come from, the reasons for our success, and a tribute to the designers and artists with whom we have worked. For a brand, a watch, a creative talent, there is always a key moment, an instant which provides the spark, which changes everything. The Hublot Design Prize is precisely this: a catalyst for talent, an opener of doors. For Hublot, design, and its transmission, is what drives us. The thing that makes sense, the thing which makes us.”
For seven years, Hublot has been supporting, showcasing, guiding and inspiring the designers of the future. The watch brand which has made design the iconic signature of its watches – particularly its Big Bang model – has used innovation and its transmission to drive its success. On 15th October 2021, in London, at the Serpentine Gallery, the 2021 edition of the Hublot Design Prize was awarded .– Marva Griffin Wilshire, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Alice Rawsthorn, and the duo behind FormaFantasma – each put forward four candidates to create a longlist of 20 designers, with eight finalists selected in a second round.
The Hublot Design Prize: overview
Now an unmissable event in the design calendar, the Hublot Design Prize is a platform for artistic expression, a showcase for talent, a launch-pad for careers, between patronage and mentorship. Its principle is simple: an independent panel of four experts in contemporary design from across the world – Marva Griffin Wilshire, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Alice Rawsthorn, and the duo behind FormaFantasma – each put forward five candidates to create a longlist of 20 designers, with eight finalists selected in a second round.
Innovative design as the common denominator
The Hublot Design Prize is open to designers from across the world whose work can be described as furthering innovation in design: experimental, pioneering, and integrating avant-garde techniques and materials or new technologies, whilst working towards an environmental and social goal.
The Hublot Design Prize and its host of designers are devoted to that which makes the luxury Swiss watch Manufacture unique. Since it was founded in 1980, Hublot has continuously revolutionised the design of the materials themselves, taking rubber – a material totally unknown in the watchmaking industry at this time – and fusing it with gold, and then creating many new, patented alloys which both elevate the material and reinforce its intrinsic properties. Design also played a crucial role in the watch brand's success through the inimitable silhouette of the Big Bang, with its H-shaped screws on the bezel, the characteristic lugs and its "sandwich" type construction. And then there are the men who forged Hublot's identity, who built the friendships, projects and partnerships… Jean-Claude Biver, Pierre Keller and Ricardo Guadalupe, who created the Hublot Design Prize in 2015 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Big Bang. Now that Pierre Keller is no longer with us, the Hublot Design Prize is also a tribute to this inspiring man and friend of the brand, a man who ensured the international success of the École Cantonale d'Art de Lausanne (ECAL), who presided over the Centre d’Art Contemporain de Genève (CAC), and who remains the heart and soul of this prize.
The Pierre Keller Award goes both to Federica Fragapane and to Eva Feldkamp for 15’000.- CHF each. Federica’s design process is characterized by a constant research into new ways of visualising urgent social, political and ecological issues. Eva’s work “All in Awe” is a catalyst to generate creative opportunities for social and environmental impact. Its mission is to design a system that connects creative professionals to charities, non-profits and the public sector.
The eight finalists of the Hublot Design Prize 2021
Graphic forms conveying messages
Ben Ganz, 1991, officebenganz.com
Born in Switzerland, and a graduate of BMS in Lucerne and Yale School of Art, Ben now lives in New York where he divides his artistic output between his Ben Ganz studio, and the artistic direction of isolarii and PIN-UP magazine, where he fuses the Swiss modernism of his roots with American pop art. Fascinated by how objects can make us feel, he loves to play with design, seeing it as the abstract form made concrete, creating a visual with cultural and social consequences. Using graphically stylised writing, he wields logos and typefaces like distinctive signatures intrinsically conveying messages.
Taking traditional Chinese materials and craftsmanship into the future
Born in Germany, Christoph graduated from the Domus Academy of Design and now lives in Hangzhou, China, where he co-founded the PINWU Design Studio, a laboratory experimenting with Chinese materials and craftsmanship that he translates into contemporary design. In 2015, he co-founded the RONG Design Library, a non-profit organisation set up to collate the materials and objects found in traditional Chinese crafts. By showcasing the expertise and materials, he pays tribute to China, writing its history into the future of object design with great sensitivity and originality.
Design with positive impact
Born in Germany, and a graduate of Berlin University of the Arts and the Design Academy Eindhoven, Eva lives in London where she founded All in Awe in 2020. This agency brings together the vision and expertise of a collective of 45 creative professionals, connecting them with non-profit organisations, foundations, charities and the public sector. The main goal is to bring meaning to their creativity and provide a unique, cross-disciplinary approach to support projects with a social and environmental impact.
Figures and statistics elevated into visual works of art
Born in Italy, Federica is an Information Designer who studied Design Science and Communication at the Politecnico di Milano. She converts figures, data and statistics into striking and original visual works, giving interest to analytical reports and using beauty to persuade readers to dive in deeper and then retain their contents.
Fashion with a message
Born in Kimberley in the Northern Cape Province, Thebe graduated from LISOF fashion school in Johannesburg, where he now lives and founded his eponymous fashion brand in 2016. Passionate about women's clothing since childhood, he creates fashion which conveys messages and educates, with collections focussing on African culture and politics. A politically engaged designer, he embodies this generation born into Mandela's rainbow nation, the dream of a world which he shapes through fashion garments with a message. In 2019, he won the LVMH Prize.
Alternative resources, multipurposing and recycling
Theresa Bastek, Archibald Godts
Born in Germany and Belgium respectively, Theresa & Archibald are both graduates of the Design Academy Eindhoven. Together, they founded Studio Plastique in 2017, which they set up to experiment with material, its use, multipurposing, recycling, and the possibility of envisaging alternative resources. Research and reflections to understand, unlearn and relearn the complex supply chains and production cycle behind materials and objects.
Immersive installations creating myriad emotions
Born in Georgia, Irakli is a designer and artistic researcher who studied science and visual communication at the Design Academy Eindhoven. His work is expressed through installations and spatial interventions. It explores our relationship with natural and artificial environments. Using a multiplicity of artistic and scientific tools and methods, he deconstructs reality and then reforms it as its various constituent parts which convey different messages, and force the visitor to understand a given situation from different angles and emotions.
Independence of expression & cultural diversity and gender
Mohammed Iman Fayaz
A New York-born illustrator, designer and contemporary artist, Mohammed lives in Brooklyn. Through his posters, works of art, infographics and short films, he explores cultural diversity and gender. On display at the Brooklyn Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, his work has recently been included in MoMa's collection. Full of contrast, his works speak of joy, pain, intimacy and desire.
The Hublot Design Prize Jury
Marva Griffin Wilshire
Originally from Venezuela, but Milanese at heart, this eminent lady of design founded the Salone Satellite in 1998. She travels the world each year to uncover the creative talent of today and tomorrow.
Hans Ulrich Obrist
A leading figure in contemporary art, he is one of the most influential curators of his generation. A critic and art historian, he is also the current Artistic Director at the Serpentine Gallery, London.
Alice Rawsthorn, OBE
A British design critic, author and speaker, appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), Alice is chair of the board of trustees at London's Chisenhale Gallery and the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery in Yorkshire.
Winners of the Hublot Design Prize 2018, Italian designers Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin together form the duo FormaFantasma. Their signature is design with conviction, conveying cultural and social messages, experimenting with new materials and taking inspiration from local traditions and culture.