seung-yong song, bethan laura wood and jon stam | click > enlarge
Continuing its commitment to innovation in design, W Hotels Worldwide unveiled the works of the 2013 W Hotels Designers of the Future Award winners during Design Miami/ Basel (June 11-16, 2013). Now in its fourth year, the collaboration between W Hotels and Design Miami/ seeks to give emerging designers a global platform from which to showcase their work.
This year for the first time the three winning designers were sent to specific new or renovating W Hotels to solve a particular design challenge or need. In addition to being showcased at Design Miami/ Basel, the newly commissioned, site-specific works will later be installed at W Hotels in Verbier, where the W brand’s first ski retreat will debut later this year; Bangkok, which opened in December 2012; and Mexico City, which will soon undergo renovation.
“Design has been core to the DNA of the W Hotels brand since our inception in New York City nearly 15 years ago,” said Paul James, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels, St. Regis and The Luxury Collection. “The W Hotels Designers of the Future Award allows us to work with the best emerging design talent from around the world, while providing a global platform of exposure for these young talents during Design Miami/ Basel and beyond.”
For this year’s commission, the winners, including Seung-Yong Song (Korea), Jon Stam (Canada) and Bethan Laura Wood (UK), have unveiled their interpretation of the brief, entitled “Making Connections.” Each designer’s project facilitates exchange between local communities and the international visitors who pass through them, whether for business or leisure. The goal of these projects is to deepen the appreciation for the distinct regional characteristics found in each destination.
“The W Hotels Designers of the Future Award has become an important incubator for emerging talents, allowing the winners to develop a project and directly interact with the receptive audience at Design Miami/ Basel,” said Marianne Goebl, Director of Design Miami/. “This year, the award is brought to yet another level by incorporating a research trip. We are thrilled to see the designers’ experiences reflected in their projects in a meaningful and engaging way.”
[ Making Connections ]
Seung-Yong Song’s Wheeljek Collection was created for W Bangkok and takes its inspiration from the fluidity and flexibility of the city’s ubiquitous street food carts. Observing the ingenuity of the design of this everyday object, Song was struck by the many uses of the carts in the bustling capital; it is at once a means of transporting goods, a kitchen, a restaurant and a bar. His collection takes the street cart concept and transforms it into an object which can be adapted to suit the user’s needs and modified into various forms and sizes, from cart to table to storage.
Designed for W Verbier, Jon Stam’s Claude Glass is an abstract timepiece that captures the landscape of the small Swiss village throughout the seasons. Stam has collaborated with local photographer Guido Perrini to capture Verbier within a digitized black mirror where one can speed up or reverse time by turning the object. As most tourists experience the destination during its world renowned ski season, Claude Glass provides a medium for a different kind of travel, showcasing the picturesque locale all year long.
Bethan Laura Wood’s Crisscross is a glass fixture created for W Mexico City and designed to evoke a cascade of floating flowers. The work combines a range of influences taken from the city, from its colorful markets and graphic displays of flowers to the Aztec-meets-Deco architecture and triple-relief Baroque detailing. Wood has enlisted the specialist skills of two different worlds of glass – artisan Pedro Myver, a Pyrex master in Italy, and Nouvel Studio, the Mexican colored glass specialists – to make work that crosses the boundaries of local and global, acting as a conduit for creative communication.
[ designers of the future ]
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.
The W Hotels Designers of the Future Award also draws attention to design practices that exemplify new directions for the design field, and as W Hotels continues to grow globally, the Award provides the W design and innovation teams with access to the world’s brightest talent in contemporary design. The objective for W Hotels is to create a vision of how guests may conceptually interact with cutting-edge and technologically advanced design solutions throughout hotel Living Rooms (the W brand’s re-interpretation of the hotel lobby) and guestrooms globally.
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.
Qualifying candidates for the W Hotels Designers of the Future Award must have created original works in the fields of furniture, lighting, craft, architecture and/or digital/electronic media. Candidates must have been practicing for less than 15 years and have produced a body of work that demonstrates originality in the creative process, while also exhibiting an interest in working in experimental, non-industrial or limited-edition design.
Previous winners of the W Hotels Designer of the Future Award, including Philippe Malouin, Markus Kayser, Tom Foulsham, Asif Khan, Beta Tank, Graham Hudson, Mischer’Traxler, Random International, Studio Juju and Zigelbaum & Coelho, continue to celebrate their successes. W Hotels guides each award winner from the conceptual stage to a level, which ultimately provides a global platform whereby they can expose their work to guests and design enthusiasts alike.
[ 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. With more than 14 years of proven success, W Hotels is on track to reach 60 hotels by 2017. [ w hotels residences ] @WHotels #WDOF
[ 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 blog ] @DesignMiami #DesignMiami