Kohler Co., British artist and designer Dr. Samuel Ross, and his industrial design studio are unveiling a limited-edition Formation 01 faucet at Design Miami 2023.
Photo: Kohler

Samuel Ross Unveils an Avant-Garde New Faucet for Kohler

Cast as a singular object, the limited-edition Formation 01 will make its official debut at the upcoming edition of Design Miami/

Dr. Samuel Ross with the Formation 01 faucet. Photo: Kohler

As Kohler Co. celebrates its milestone 150th anniversary, the iconic brand is looking to the future as well as its past as a leader in bold design and breakthrough innovation. The Wisconsin-based company’s proprietary new material, Neolast, will soon be unveiled in the form of a sculptural faucet crafted by U.K. designer Dr. Samuel Ross and his industrial design studio SR_A. Mentored by the late Virgil Abloh, Ross was awarded the Hublot Design Prize in 2019 and has seen his profile skyrocket, overseeing collaborations with major brands such as Apple, Nike, and now, Kohler.

The Formation 01 faucet, as the limited-edition piece is named, will make its official debut at Design Miami/ in early December. Even a fleeting glance will show fairgoers that it’s far from standard. Cast as a singular object in a striking orange hue, the twisting fixture takes advantage of Kohler’s expertise in engineering in order to allow water to flow through its gravity-defying angles. The eye-catching color, a Ross signature, also pays homage to Kohler’s past, evoking the “Tiger Lily” shade that appeared in the brand’s 1967 bathroom line.

In advance of the official launch, Galerie spoke with Gary Clarke, Kohler Co. lead industrial designer, about the collaboration.

The Formation 01 will make its official debut at Design Miami in early December. Photo: Kohler

Galerie: How did the collaboration with Dr. Samuel Ross come about?
Gary Clarke: The partnership is grounded in a deep appreciation for material, color, and challenging expectations. Samuel’s work consistently brings new materials into the objects we use in the home with rich color and artistic design. Kohler has 150 years of history in material innovation and bold color solutions, from iron and vitreous to the WasteLAB’s reclaimed materials. We wanted to position this partnership to explore the potential applications of a new material that we’ve been developing as a medium for Samuel’s unique sense of design and bold use of color. I love that this transformative new design is paired with a cast iron base, calling back to Kohler’s industrial legacy in cast iron.

What was the process for creating Neolast?
Neolast is a proprietary composite and is something we’ve been developing to enable freedom in form and color. The process for Formation 01 utilizes Kohler’s expertise in casting and molding techniques along with a deeply rooted passion for arts and craftsmanship. This gives us fantastic material properties for casting unique shapes and colors, unrestricted by traditional manufacturing processes and led with an artisan approach.

The Formation 01 is made using Neolast. Photo: Kohler

Why is the material so special?
Neolast has two major implications for design: its ability to be cast in dramatic forms that cannot be realized through traditional manufacturing processes, and its ability to take on vibrant color, like Haptic Orange. The geometry of Formation 01 really celebrates that material quality by focusing on precise and dynamic volumes and intersections. The development of Formation 01 focused on producing a cast with no visible mold lines – making the faucet a truly pure form of sculptural expression. The result is a product that challenges how we engage with the form and function of an everyday object by pushing the boundaries of materials, form, and color.

The Formation 01 faucet is made of Neolast, a proprietary new material from Kohler. Photo: Kohler

Can you tell us about the Design Miami/ installation?
The Design Miami/ installation will mark a milestone in our collaboration and the installation, entitled “Terminal 01,” offers context for the faucet that capitalizes on the bold use of color, form, and space to showcase the intention of bringing such a unique vision into being. Terminal 01 aims to reinvent our daily engagements with water and hygiene. You are granted a sense of touch, an exploration of curiosity to control and affect the flow and intensity of water that moves through Formation 01.

Cover: Kohler Co., British artist and designer Dr. Samuel Ross, and his industrial design studio are unveiling a limited-edition Formation 01 faucet at Design Miami 2023.
Photo: Kohler


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