The 2013 winners include Seung-Yong Song from Korea, Canadian Jon Stam and Bethan Laura Wood from the United Kingdom. An evolution of the Award, this year for the first time the winning designers were sent to specific new or renovating W Hotels to solve for a specific design challenge or need. The newly commissioned works will be unveiled at Design Miami/ Basel (June 11-16, 2013) and later installed at W Hotels in Verbier, Bangkok and Mexico City.
W Hotels Designers of the Future Award 2013 winners: (L-R) Canadian-Dutch designer Jon Stam, Bethan Laura Wood from the United Kingdom, and Seung-Yong Song from Seoul, Korea. (Photo: Business Wire)
This is the fourth occasion that W Hotels and Design Miami/ Basel have collaborated on the Award. Started in 2006 at Design Miami/ Basel, the Designers of the Future Award recognizes up-and-coming designers and studios that are expanding the field of design. Each year, three designers or studios are selected as a way to honor a variety of approaches in the constantly evolving landscape of contemporary design. The Award moves beyond pure product and furniture design to acknowledge technologically and conceptually vanguard pieces that work across multiple disciplines, offering the next generation of design creatives the opportunity to present newly commissioned works to an influential audience of collectors, dealers, and journalists at Design Miami/ Basel.
Designer Projects Focused on “Making Connections”
The brief for this year’s Award commissions is entitled “Making Connections.” The designers’ projects will facilitate exchange between local communities and the international visitors who pass through them, whether for business or pleasure. The goal of these projects is to deepen the appreciation for the distinct regional characteristics found in each destination.
Each of the winning designers has been paired with a new or renovating W Hotel to create a site-specific project. Each designer has already been sent on a design visit to a W Hotel, finding inspiration in the hotel design concept, the destination, local craft and materials as well as investigating the cultural and material conditions of the surrounding area, all of which will inform their finished project. Jon Stam spent time in Verbier, where the W brand’s first ski retreat will open later this year, Seung-Yong Song visited W Bangkok, which opened December 2012, and Bethan Laura Wood travelled to W Mexico City, which will undergo renovations. In addition to being showcased at Design Miami/ Basel in June 2013, their finished work will ultimately be installed at the hotel they visited, solving for a specific design need.
The winners were selected by an international jury that included Jan Boelen of the Design Academy Eindhoven and Z33; Tony Chambers of Wallpaper* magazine; Aric Chen of M+ Museum Hong Kong; Alexis Georgacopoulos of Ecole Cantonale d'art de Lausanne (ECAL); Marianne Goebl of Design Miami/; Benjamin Loyauté, author, curator and journalist; and Mike Tiedy of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, parent company of W Hotels Worldwide.
About Design Miami/
Design Miami/ is the global forum for design. Each fair brings together the most influential collectors, gallerists, designers, curators and critics from around the world in celebration of design culture and commerce. Occurring alongside the Art Basel fairs in Miami, USA each December and Basel, Switzerland each June, Design Miami/ has become the premier venue for collecting, exhibiting, discussing and creating collectible design. Design Miami/ Basel 2013 takes place from June 11 to 16 with a Preview Day on June 10. For more information, please visit www.designmiami.com.
About W Hotels Worldwide
W Hotels is a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand and the industry innovator with 44 hotels and retreats, including 16 W-branded residences, in the most vibrant cities and exotic destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access, offering a unique mix of cutting-edge design and passions around fashion, music and entertainment. W Hotels offers a holistic lifestyle experience that is integrated into the brand’s sensibility through contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous entertainment experiences, stylish retail concepts, signature spas and inspiring residences. With more than 14 years of proven success, W Hotels is on track to reach 60 hotels by the end of 2015. W Hotels have been announced for Milan, Shanghai, Beijing, Bogota, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai, Dubai, Jakarta, Panama, Muscat, Suzhou, Changsha, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, and Sante Fe, Mexico, while upcoming W Retreats include Verbier, Goa, and Mexico’s Riviera Maya.
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