From Benjamin Hubert,
The application and attributes of materials in design
An exhibition showcasing industrial design, at beginning of the career of Benjamin Hubert
Materiality exhibition 250 sqm
03.06.11 – 30.08.11
Benjamin Hubert was born in 1984 and graduated from Loughborough University in Industrial Design and Technology in 2006.
Benjamin Hubert Studio was founded in London in 2007 and works with a range of international manufacturers across lighting, furniture and accessories. The small studio team led by Benjamin practises industrial design but with a material driven design approach.
Benjamin started his career working in industrial design studios, with evenings and weekends consumed by the design and production of his early prototypes and thoughts of a self sufficient studio. This desire to create originates from his need to take ownership and produces objects that are representative of his values and views. Early work was primarily concentrated around lighting, with the blend of technology and physicality based on his training in both industrial design and technology at Loughborough University. Although the studio was formally founded in 2007 it wasn’t until 2009 that he was able to turn it into a working business after a number of fee based commissions balanced the royalty based system, where designers have to commit to work years in advance of payment.
The industrial design of Benjamin Hubert
Benjamin Hubert’s approach is inspired by a tactile response to raw materials and the experiences of a close working relationship between product, process and craftsman. The team will often starts projects by sourcing a new material or working closely with a production factory or process, before designing the physical object, in order to fully understand the subtleties and opportunities a material can offer.
His desire to work closely with materials and process is a reaction to training and experience working for a number of established industrial design consultancies throughout the UK. This included Seymour Powell, DCA design and Tangerine, working on a variety of projects including transportation, consumer goods and interiors. Although valuable experience, these larger groups often work with a theoretical approach to materials and utilising heavily industrialised processes.
When a project begins, Benjamin Hubert establishes the types of materials and process that are compelling for a given brief or strategic vision. At this point, ideation will starts with the generation of many ideas often in sketch form, models or prototypes. The designer conducts this process covering the entire studio space with a world of sketches and models to integrate the design language, function, visibility and materiality of a project.
The Projects undertaken by Benjamin Hubert often take up to 5 years in development before arriving on the market. This long process is due to the nature of the materials led approach, with the more unusual construction methods and material selection driving a long process of finding the right production partner.
The research can take the form of alchemy and experimentation in the studio or it can happen on the factory floor of the producer. This is a long process to get a partner to invest time and energy in diverting from standard production and guaranteed revenue to an unknown process. In this way of Focusing on trying to innovate with materials and technology allows the designer freedom and a platform to create new products that differentiate from the existing market.
Industrial design projects at the studio are a collaboration between the designer, material and craftsman. The studio works closely with the factory or workshop in any project whether it’s an injection moulding factory or a hand made ceramic process. The knowledge and experience of the people making the artefacts is utilised in every project to gain a better understanding of the material. Projects also often change and develop through the insights learned from the crafts people as products are manufactured. The process behind each project is always documented and publicised to allow the consumer a greater connection and understanding of the finished article. Material selection for a project is a defining aspect, with emphasise on material appropriateness in conjunction with a playful look at context to try and change the users perception of an everyday object.