Mohammed Iman Fayaz has won the 2021 Hublot Design Prize, announced by a jury composed of Marva Griffin Wilshire, founder and creator of Salone Satellite; Hans Ulrich Obrist, artistic director of Serpentine Galleries; Alice Rawsthorn, design critic, longtime Wallpaper* contributor and 2020 guest editor; and Formafantasma, the design studio and winner of the 2018 Hublot Design Prize.

US-based illustrator Fayaz was chosen from a shortlist of eight and announced as winner at a ceremony at Serpentine Galleries. It is the sixth edition of the prize, launched in 2015 by Jean-Claude Biver and Pierre Keller as a way of supporting younger generations. The shortlist – composed of Ben Ganz, Christoph John, Eva Feldkamp, Federica Fragapane, Mohammed Fayaz, Irakli Sabekia, Thebe Magugu, and Archibald Godts & Theresa Bastek of Studio Plastique – united designers across a range of different disciplines and styles.

Winner Fayaz, a member of art collective and creative studio Papi Juice, impressed the judges with his works of art and infographics, which reinvent the traditional form of illustration. Fayaz also documents the queer and trans communities, supports his local community through pro bono projects that capture post-pandemic scenes in bold colours, and designs arresting posters, dispensing advice to first-time visitors to marches, for example.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by mohammed iman (@brohammed)

 

‘There is simple communication on them – the march is free, it’s outdoors, a mask required, to let people know what’s going on and not put them off,’ he explains. The poster he drew for a silent march for Black trans lives, was, unusually for him, in black and white to reflect the sombre nature of the event, and was acquired this year by MoMA. ‘It was before in-person gatherings were really allowed, so with something as simple as putting the masks on the poster – it’s not the most beautiful thing but it is powerful,’ Fayaz says. ‘You can still see yourself, you see your friends, you see your colleagues, your loved ones.’ The protest drew 15,000 people, the largest for trans lives in history.

What the Hublot Design Prize 2021 jury said

‘We were absolutely unanimous that Mohammed was the winner,’ says Alice Rawsthorne. ‘He really has documented an extraordinary community of queer and trans people of colour who at times are very vulnerable and at others are happy and joyous. I think he’s caught their complexities and subtleties and idiosyncrasies, and that’s such a difficult thing to do.’

The Pierre Keller Award was also presented to Eva Feldkamp and Federica Fragapane at the event. Fragapane elevates statistics into works of art with her intricate illustrations of facts. ‘Data generally is one of the most dynamic areas of design at the moment and the pandemic obviously accelerated that as we all became obsessed with data trackers,’ says Rawsthorne. ‘Federica is a brilliant data designer because she takes very complex data and expresses it in a way which makes it much more accessible to many more. The visual language with which she decodes it is so original, so innovative and so seductive.’

Feldkamp connects creative professionals with not-for-profit organisations through her company, All in Awe. Rawsthorne adds: ‘Eva is filling a gap in the design community by building bridges between non-profit and social enterprises and charities that need the work of talented designers and architects for social community projects, and the growing number of designers who want to engage with those projects.’ §