Milan Design Week 2024: a showcase of creative brilliance

The highly anticipated annual design fair brings together the most innovative and ambitious talents in the design industry, including Hublot’s Ambassadors and Friends of the Brand

By Debbie Hathway

The Salon del Mobile, an institution in Milan since 1961, serves as a gathering place for the most forward-thinking designers, artists, and architects. This year, Hublot Ambassador Samuel Ross, Friend of the Brand Ma Yansong, and Nifemi Marcus-Bello, the 2022 Hublot Design Prize winner, showcased their work.

Samuel unveiled the KOHLER X SR_A limited-edition smart toilet ‘Formation 02’ an installation for Fuorisalone. Inspired by the velocity and power of water in nature, ‘Formation 02’ represents a departure in design language with its brutalist silhouette. Samuel aims to amplify the movement and experience of water, offering a place of reconsideration among daily objects and rituals.

His signature colour – Haptic Orange – pays homage to Kohler’s 1967 launch of its ‘Tiger Lily’ bathroom line. This is their second collaboration.

Meanwhile, visionary architect Ma Yansong, who was welcomed by Hublot earlier this year as its new Friend of the Brand, presented MAD Architects’ new “Amazing Walk” project.

This installation blurs the boundary between built and natural environments in a surreal way, inviting exploration and imagination while reflecting the shape of mountains.

The structure is made from sustainable aluminium alloy, comprises hundreds of triangles, stands 7.5m tall without internal columns, and is transparent, enabling a visual connection with the 100-year-old courtyard and a sense of shelter.

Renowned for his masterfully crafted, spatiotemporal, sculptural forms that seamlessly integrate into the city and landscape, Ma’s work is driven by intuition, expression, and emotion.

Nigerian designer Nifemi’s installation ‘Omi Iyọ’ reflects on the migration crisis, offering a poignant marker for the human toll of this crisis. Formally referencing the hull of a boat, his polished, stainless steel piece acts as a mirror, encouraging reflection and discourse on one of the most pressing issues of our day. The installation is a carrier for salt water, acting like an hourglass and depositing a pile of salt crystals at the end of its journey. The creation was supported by Hublot.

Since its inception in 2015, the Hublot Design Prize has been dedicated to celebrating emerging design talent. Spearheaded by Pierre Keller, former director of ECAL, this prestigious award recognises a young designer every year. Samuel, who received the Hublot Design Prize in 2019, is an Ambassador for Hublot and has designed two limited edition watches, the Big Bang Tourbillon Samuel Ross and Big Bang Tourbillon SR_A By Samuel Ross.

Nifemi won the prize in 2022. Known for his community-led, ethnographic-conscious design approach, he explores new forms and typologies in industrial design.

The Swiss luxury watchmaker is honoured to collaborate with these exceptional designers and artists, demonstrating its unwavering commitment to art and design.

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