W Hotels Designers of the Future Award 2013
winners announced

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W Hotels Designers of the Future Award 2013 winners announced

News: designers Seung-Yong Song, Jon Stam and Bethan Laura Wood have been announced as the winners of this year's W Hotels Designers of the Future Award.

W Hotels Designers of the Future Award 2013 winners announced

Above: Play Time - Spaghetti Junction stacking tables by Bethan Laura Wood
Top: Objects series by Seung-Yong Song

Presented in conjunction with Design Miami/Basel, W Hotels revealed the three young designers that are receiving the annual prize during a ceremony in Milan today.

W Hotels Designers of the Future Award 2013 winners announced

Above: Cabinet of the (Material & Virtual) World by Jon Stam

This year's laureates have been commissioned to create original, site-specfic work inspired by their visits to W Hotel branches in Verbier, Bangkok and Mexico City. The finished projects will be unveiled at the Design Miami/Basel event in June.

W Hotels Designers of the Future Award 2013 winners announced

Above: Dami series by Seung-Yong Song

Past projects by Korean designer Seung-Yong Song include furniture shaped like baskets (above), concrete vases with steel cages and a collection of chairs that double up as ladders, clotheshorses, shelves or lamps.

W Hotels Designers of the Future Award 2013 winners announced

Above: Soft Rock scarf by Bethan Laura Wood

British designer Bethan Laura Wood creates patterned products, textiles and jewellery. Her work was shortlisted for London Design Museum's Designs of the Year in 2012.

W Hotels Designers of the Future Award 2013 winners announced

Above: Bioscope by Jon Stam and Simon de Bekker

Canadian designer Jon Stam won best graduation project on completing his studies at Design Academy Eindhoven and currently teaches Digital Craft at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. His work includes a hand-held movie projector that combines digital and analogue processes (above).

Previous recipients of the award include designers Max Lamb, Philippe Malouin and Asif KhanSee all our stories about past winners and their projects »

Here's a full press release from the organisers:


W Hotels and Design Miami/Basel and worldwide announce the winners of the 2013 W Hotels Designers Of The Future Award

Following design trips to W Hotels around the world, designers to unveil new works at Design Miami/Basel to Later be Installed at W Hotels in Verbier, Bangkok and Mexico City

From the 52nd edition of Salone Internazionale del Mobile, W Hotels Worldwide and Design Miami/Basel today announced the winners of the 2013 W Hotels Designers of the Future Award. The 2013 winners include Seung-Yong Song from Korea, Canadian Jon Stam and Bethan Laura Wood from the United Kingdom. In an evolution of the Award, this year for the first time, the winning designers were sent to new or renovating W Hotels to solve 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.

"The W Hotels Designers of the Future Award allows us to recognize the best up-and-coming design talent from around the world,” said Mike Tiedy, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Design & Innovation, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “These emerging designers provide forward-thinking and innovative design solutions for our hotels, while showcasing their unique works to both W guests and locals alike."

"We are proud to continue our partnership with W Hotels to create a meaningful platform for talented emerging designers,” said Marianne Goebl, Director of Design Miami/. “With the introduction of the design residencies abroad, the designers get the opportunity to dive into the local culture and develop new work."

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.

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.

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.

For the first time, 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 specific 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 traveled to W Mexico City, which will complete a full renovation in 2014. 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.

2013 W Hotels Designers of the Future Award Winners

Seung-Yong Song – Born 1978, Seung-Yong Song attended École Supérieure d'Art et de Design de Reims and received his BFA, MFA in France. He has worked with Claudio Colucci, Jean Marc Gady, Patric Nadeau and Matt Sindall, and opened his own studio in 2011 in Korea.

Jon Stam – Born in 1984, Canadian-Dutch designer Jon Stam studied design at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, Canada, before moving to the Netherlands to study under Aldo Bakker, Jan Boelen and Ilse Crawford at the Design Academy Eindhoven. In 2008 he graduated cum laude, and set up his own studio in 2010 in Amsterdam.

Bethan Laura Wood – Born in 1983, Bethan Laura Wood completed her degree from the Royal College of Art in 2009, where she studied under Jurgen Bey and Martino Gamper in the Design Product department. Bethan set up her own studio, WOOD London, that same year, and showcases her limited edition lighting and furniture ranges with Nilufar Gallery in Milan.

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.