Winners of the 2013 W Hotels designers of the future award announced

Seung-Yong Song, Jon Stam and Bethan Laura Wood commissioned works at W Hotels

by Malcolm Clark
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The announcement was made at the 52nd edition of Salone Internazionale del Mobile, which draws to a close this weekend. This is the fourth edition of the Designers of the Future Award which started in 2006 at Design Miami/ Basel. The awards recognize up-and-coming designers and studios that are expanding the field of design.

The 2013 winners include Seung-Yong Song from Korea, Canadian-Dutch designer Jon Stam and Bethan Laura Wood from the United Kingdom. They 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. They 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.

In 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 a specific design challenge or need.

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. 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, solving a specific design need.

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.

Mike Tiedy, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Design & Innovation, Starwood Hotels & Resorts said “The W Hotels Designers of the Future Award allows us to recognize the best up-andcoming design talent from around the world....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.”

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 MA at 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.

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