Asif Khan, Studio Juju and Mischer'Traxler have been crowned the winners of this year's W Hotels Designers of the Future Award - the annual accolade given to the most mould-breaking, discipline defying and conceptually vanguard creatives working in non-industrial or limited edition design.
A partnership between Design Miami/ Basel and W Hotels, the award was announced today in Milan, where the design crowd has arrived en masse for the Salone del Mobile. The winners - all of whom have been practicing for less than 15 years, as the prize stipulates - were picked out by a panel of design heavyweights, including industrial designer Konstantin Grcic, trend forecaster Li Edelkoort, soon-to-be ECAL director Alexis Georgacopoulos and Dezeen founder Marcus Fairs.
London-based designer Asif Khan is known for his experimental work across architecture, interiors and furniture design; while Viennese studio Mischer'Traxler is celebrated for the way it fuses elements of nature with machine technology; and Singapore-based Studio Juju is remarkable for its hands-on approach to prototype making, and pushing the boundaries of form, function and material.
'While our three winners represent three very diverse and unique viewpoints, they all share an experimental and multi-disciplinary approach that we believe will encourage visitors to rethink the future of the design field,' says Design Miami/ director Marianne Goebl.
As with previous winners - which last year included Beta Tank, Random International, Graham Hudson and Zigelbaum & Coelho - the three practices have been commissioned to create a new work for this year's Design Miami/ Basel in June, which will then be exhibited in W Hotels across the globe. Under the theme 'Conversation Pieces' the designers are encouraged to create interactive works that prompt people to 'overcome social barriers while sparking conversations between strangers'.