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W Hotels 2011 Designers of the Future Award Winners Reveal
Innovative Works at Design Miami/ Basel

Basel, Switzerland (June 15, 2011) – Continuing its dedication and passion for innovation in design, W Hotels Worldwide today unveiled the works of the 2011 W Hotels Designers of the Future award winners during Design Miami/ Basel.  Now in its second year, the successful alliance between W Hotels and Design Miami/ seeks to expand the benefits that the award brings to the winners, giving the emerging designers a global platform on which to showcase their work.

“W Hotels DNA stems from innovative design and we are always looking toward the future at what is new and next,” says Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Design Miami/ and celebrate these three forward-thinking design studios as they present their work to the world.”

The 2011 W Hotels Designers of the Future Award looks beyond traditional product and furniture design, seeking work that is truly groundbreaking and innovative.  This year, the recognized designers were commissioned to draw inspiration from “Conversation Pieces,” a theme provided to the design candidates by Design Miami/ Basel and W Hotels.

The 2011 W Hotels Designers of the Future Awards winners were announced during Salone del Mobile in Milan and include:

Asif Khan
Mischer’Traxler - Thomas Traxler & Katharina Mischer
Studio Juju - Timo Wong & Priscilla Lui

These three winners were chosen by a selection committee comprising of Wava Carpenter, Associate Director, Design Miami/; Aric Chen, Beijing Design Week; Li Edelkoort, Edelkoort Inc.; Marcus Fairs, Editor-in-Chief, Dezeen.com; Alexis Georgacopoulos, Director of the Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne; Constance Rubini, School of Decorative Arts, Paris; Kenya Hara, Creative Director, Muji; Konstantin Grcic, KGID; Zoe Ryan, Art Institute of Chicago; and Mike Tiedy, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Design & Innovation, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT),  the parent company of W Hotels Worldwide.

“Being at the forefront of design is an ongoing goal for W Hotels,” says Mike Tiedy, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Design & Innovation, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “To identify and connect with these emerging designers will continue to drive design forward at W Hotels across the globe.”

The “Conversation Pieces” created by the 2011 award winners are three distinct designs that showcase each studio’s range of talent.  Asif Khan turns foaming bubbles into an architectural yet whimsical element of design, while Studio Juju constructs a social space where people can convene.  Mischer’Traxler creates conversation by using mirrors that work only when two or more people stand in front of them.  All of the pieces trigger an immediate response in the viewer, from serious to fanciful, creating conversation that is sure to last beyond the Design Miami/ Basel exhibition halls.

The winners of last year’s W Hotels Designer of the Future Awards - Beta Tank, Graham Hudson, rAndom International, and Zigelbaum + Coelho - are continuing to celebrate their successes.  W Hotels created a global platform for these designers, helping them take their work from a conceptual stage to a level where they can expose their work to consumers and design enthusiasts alike.  The winners traveled to W locations across the globe during key design weeks, setting up on-site installations at W Barcelona, W Doha and showcasing their work during Istanbul Design week.  Zigelbaum + Coelho and rAndom International were also integrated at the W Taipei premiere event in March 2011, where rAndom International had also created a permanent installation for the hotel. Zigelbaum + Coelho was commissioned to create installations for the W St. Petersburg premiere event, which took place earlier this month.

“We've been working with W Hotels for the past year and it's been a pleasure,” said Jaime Zigelbaum and Marcello Coelho. “They are more than our clients; they are our patrons, collaborators, and friends. Our work is untraditional, on the edge. They get that. Design has a true ally in W Hotels.”

When the W brand opened its first hotel in New York in 1998, it transformed the meaning of hotels and established itself as the clear leader in the contemporary lifestyle hotel space.  W Hotels strives for cutting-edge, forward-thinking design, inspired by location and executed through unique collaborations with both emerging and well-known creative talents. From the Ottoman-referenced glam of a jewel box of W Istanbul to the design inspired by the dual personality of the British man at the recently-opened W London - Leicester Square, each new W Hotel is guided by Starwood’s in-house design team and fuelled by a unique collaboration between designers, architects, graphic designers, photographers, stylists and W’s Global Fashion and Music Directors.

About W Hotels Worldwide
W Hotels is a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand and the industry innovator with 41 hotels and retreats, including 14 W-branded residences, in the most vibrant cities and exotic destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access, offering a unique mix of cutting-edge design and passions around fashion, music and entertainment. W Hotels offers a holistic lifestyle experience that is integrated into the brand’s sensibility through contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous entertainment experiences, stylish retail concepts, signature spas and inspiring residences. With more than 12 years of proven success, W Hotels is on track to reach more than 50 hotels by the end of 2012. W Hotels have been announced for Paris, Guangzhou, Milan, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Athens – Astir Palace, Muscat, Mumbai, and Sante Fe, Mexico, while upcoming W Retreats include Verbier and Mexico’s Riveria Maya.  For more information, visit www.whotels.com. To live the W Hotels lifestyle 24/7/365, visit www.wresidences.com.

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Media Contacts:

Lisa Goldstein
Think PR for W Hotels Worldwide
212 343 3920
Lgoldstein@thinkpublicrelations.com

Camron PR
Amanda Kasper
+44 (0) 20 7420 1700
amanda.kasper@camronpr.com

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Also See: With Design at the Forefront, W Hotels Worldwide Prepares to Open Six New Distinctively Designed Hotels in 2011 / February 2011

First W Hotel in Southeast Asia Opens with the All Villa W Retreat Koh Samui on the North Shore of Thailand’s Samui Island / November 2010

W Hotels Appoints Coetzer Deysel as General Manager of W Retreat - Koh Samui, Thailand / April 2010

Langham Hotels International Signs Management Contract with Gurich Company in Koh Samui, Thailand to Open Designer Boutique Resort in November 2009 / July 2009
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