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Exploring the future of home tech with Benjamin Hubert, founder of LAYER

Mesh repeater made from wood by LAYER x Deutsche Telekom
LAYER x Deutsche Telekom
Nov 22, 2022 By WGSN Insider
Updates from WGSN

Benjamin Hubert, founder of industrial design agency LAYER, talks about how designs will evolve with fewer screens, a rich sense of materiality and haptic happiness.

Hubert, who had a design career in his sights while still in school, initially wanted to design cars, but went into product design instead. He has since designed a huge range of products, from lighting to tech, and it’s the latter where his company excels at creating incredibly tactile products through a combination of materials.

Benjamin Hubert, founder of industrial design agency LAYER
Benjamin Hubert, founder of industrial design agency LAYER/LAYER

LAYER also launched a monograph, published by Phaidon, during the London Design Festival, which coincided with an exhibition that ran as part of the inaugural Material Matters 2022. The book covers the various stages of Hubert’s career and the many products he has designed for the likes of Bang & Olufsen, Vitra, Moroso, Cappellini, Muuto and more.

Hand holding corner of monograph by LAYER

Join Benjamin Hubert, WGSN’s Executive Editorial Director Bethan Ryder and WGSN’s Head of CMF Reiko Morrison to discover more about the natural and tactile materials that bring consumers a sense of haptic feedback – or what Hubert calls “haptic happiness”.

Human and machine converge

“It’s very difficult to do much with screens other than present a screen. In order for these products to become truly ambient and integrated, leveraging voice, gestural interaction and haptics across materials is obviously the future. As people become part biological and part bionic – which we will be – the objects around us will do the same. As we have chips integrated with us and as we become part machine, the machines will become more and more human.”
– Benjamin Hubert, founder of LAYER

Three Beosound Emerge wifi speakers
Beosound Emerge by Bang & Olufsen x LAYER

Material-driven future

“Tech products will be more material-driven in the future and we will see more tactile properties of frosted glass, matte textured ceramic and even speckled stone. The focus will continue to grow around materials, textures and finishes that impart a feeling of quality and warmth. Tech products will become objects that we want to cherish for years to come instead of disposable products that we change out every few years.”
– Reiko Morrison, WGSN Head of CMF

To hear the full discussion, tune into episode 64 of our Create Tomorrow podcast, How Materiality will Define the Future of Home Tech with Layer Design, on Anchor, Apple and Spotify.

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