W Hotels Worldwide unveiled the works of the 2013 W Hotels Designers of the Future Award winners. Now in its fourth year, the collaboration between W Hotels and Design Miami/Basel 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.
For this year's commission, the winners, including Seung-Yong Song (Korea), Jon Stam (Canada) and Bethan Laura Wood (UK), 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.
Seung-Yong Song 's Wheeljek Collection was created for W Bangkok and takes its inspiration from the flexibility of the city's street food carts. Observing the design of this everyday object, Song was said to have been struck by the many uses of the carts in the capital. 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 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. Claude Glass provides a medium for a different kind of travel, showcasing the 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. Wood 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.
The winners were selected by a 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.
W Mexico City