The three recipients of the 2013 W Hotel Designers of the Future Award — Seung-Yong Song from Korea, Canadian-Dutch designer Jon Stam, and Bethan Laura Wood from the United Kingdom — have works currently showcased at Design Miami/Basel that were created following their designs at various W Hotel locations.
Launched in 2006 at Design Miami/Basel, the Designers of the Future Award recognizes up-and-coming designers or studios working in innovative directions, whether with new materials, new processes, or in unexpected approaches, and gives them the opportunity to work on a new design project.
While this was the fourth occasion W Hotels has supported the award, it was the first time it gave the winners the opportunity to each travel to one of the hotel’s properties and solve a specific design challenge within the theme “Making Connections.”
Stam visited Verbier, where the W brand’s first ski retreat will open later this year, and createdhis Claude Glass, a black mirror that shows the viewer’s reflection positioned over digital images of the Verbier landscape the viewer is located in. By turning the object clockwise, the viewer will travel from night to day, as photographs of the landscape were taken every minute during 24 hours over several days with the help of local photographer Guido Perrini.
“This piece really works like a clock, as the landscape gradually changes,” Stam explained, adding he now plans to create a mirror for each season to showcase the beauty of the region, which is often ignored during the summer months. “People will be able to see summer when it’s winter,” he added. Stam’s inspiration came from the original Claude Glass, a black pocket-sized mirror that was used by artists in the 18th century ands named after landscape painter Claude Lorrain.
Song spent time at the W Bangkok, which opened last December, and created the Wheeljek Collection, several colorful pieces of furniture inspired by the food and drinks push carts found on the Thai capital’s streets.
Meanwhile, Wood travelled to the W Mexico City, which will soon undergo renovations. For this hotel, she created Crisscross, a layered system of colorful glass and light that forms a graphical flower chandelier designed to create a focal piece in a huge staircase connecting several floors.
The newly commissioned works will be installed in each hotel when it is completed.