Materials driven | Process led | Industrial design
Furniture, lighting, consumer products, architectural installations, and interior architecture – Benjamin Hubert’s range is wide. He is one of the young designers who is currently most in demand.
His objects are timeless and do not respond to trends or fashion but rely on usability analysis, materiality, sustainability, and visual reduction. The Benjamin Hubert Ltd. studio works with leading international design brands. In an interview with InteriorFashion, the designer tells about his impressions of Milan and what is important to him in his work.
IF: Mr. Hubert, how was the Salone in Milan for you this year? What were your impressions and, for you as a designer, is the Salone one of the annual events that is not to be missed?
Benjamin Hubert: Salone del Mobile is always a great period in the year, you get to see everyone in one place, friends, colleagues and clients. It is still the most important event in the calendar. It is always difficult to understand what is good and what is not so good when you are there as there is so much to mentally download. I think there is a tendency for some companies to produce too much and not have the confidence to do one or two objects and get these successfully into the market. Luckily, there are a few companies who do work like this, we are fortunate to be working with.
IF: In Milan, your new “Inlay” design – an ultra modular sofa concept – was introduced for the first time for the Belgian designer brand Indera. Can you tell us more about it?
Hubert: „Inlay“ is a new super modular sofa system for super flexible living. „Inlay“ comprises back rest, arm rest, and seat modules in various sizes that can be easily configured and re-configured by the user in infinite variations to create a sofa for any occasion. The sofa employs a modernist architectural design language, and an innovative seam detail integrates the die cast aluminium leg and the body of the sofa to create a new aesthetic for this typology. „Inlay” is available in all Kvadrat textiles and leather upholstery options for either residential or contract specification. The residential edition of the sofa comes with loose cushions, offering an even more flexible solution for the home.
IF: How would you yourself describe a “typical” Benjamin Hubert Design? What characterizes your personal design style?
Hubert: We are interested in problem solving, trying to create something with hard values – something faster, lighter, stronger, more economical, more flexible. We focus on these core values as we believe that is in tune with the current and future state of the world and how people should consume objects.
IF: How do you approach a new project? Can you tell us about the way you work? What do you really enjoy in your work?
Hubert: We always ask lots of questions and challenge ourselves to create something that is both very new and makes good commercial sense that will resonate with the way we live. We have an analytical approach to a problem and then we translate that through sketching, model making, and 3D CAD and a lot of testing.
IF: You are currently one of the most successful young designers. Your list of references sounds like a Who’s Who of the biggest designer brands. Is there a project that is particularly close to your heart or that you have particularly enjoyed?
Hubert: The ones we are working on now, we are working with major sports brands, electronics, charities, and with disabilities. We are moving increasingly towards tools that improve the quality of life.
IF: With your “Ripple” table, you were nominated for Design of the Year in 2014, you are the Young Designer of the Year 2014, the Elle Decoration Designer of the Year 2013 (shortlisted) etc., etc. – Wow! Is there one award that made you especially happy?
Hubert: Awards are great, they communicate your way of thinking – we are pleased to be a part of all of them.
IF: What are you working on at the present time, and what may we expect from you in the future?
Hubert: Tools to inspire social responsibility – apps, wearables, domestic goods, tools for charities – it is an exciting period for us!
IF: Mr. Hubert, thank you very much for this interview!
The interview has been published in the InteriorFashion issue 2|2015.