A-Cold-Wall’s Samuel Ross lifts the 2019 Hublot Design Prize
Samuel Ross, the just-announced winner of the fifth Hublot Design Prize, translates a preoccupation with resocialising public space into his work. ‘I want to encourage interaction in public space to remove perceived social boundaries and uplift the overall psyche of communities,’ he says of one of his artworks, a neon orange steel three-seated bench which has allowed him to showcase his skills in industrial and product design.
Another piece, a refuge point, is designed to house blankets to help those in need of them. Created from upcycled materials developed by himself and Nike Lab, the blankets are crafted from recycled plastic bottles. Ross hopes in the future they will be freely available in parks, replenished regularly by the council. His methods involve identifying a solution to a social problem he wants to address before applying any creativity. ‘The work has to be steeped in rationale and reason,’ Ross explains. ‘They may look highly artistic, but that’s a veneer on top of the function.’
‘There is a wealth of expression of design represented this year,’ says Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe. As such, the judges, who comprised regular panel member Marva Griffin Wilshire, founder of Salone Satellite, furniture designer Ronan Bouroullec and Serpentine Gallery’s artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist, had the non-envious task of searching beyond obvious high quality in the six finalists for a distinctly audacious thinker.
Other contenders for the prize this year included architecture professor Mae Ling J. Lokko, artists Marion Pinaffo and Raphaël Pluvinage, designer Shigeki Fujishiro and artist Than Hussein Clark. §