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W Hotels Worldwide and Design Miami/ Basel Name the Winners
of the 2012 W Hotels Designers of the Future Award

Honoring Tom Foulsham, Markus Kayser, and Philippe Malouin

MILAN--April 20, 2012 - From the 51st edition of Salone del Mobile, Design Miami/ Basel and W® Hotels Worldwide today announced the 2012 W Hotels Designers of the Future Award winners in Milan, Italy. The 2012 winners include Tom Foulsham from the UK, Markus Kayser from Germany, and Philippe Malouin from Canada. This event marks the third occasion that W Hotels and Design Miami/ Basel have collaborated on the Award.

Started in 2006 by Design Miami/ Basel, the Designers of the Future Award honors up-and-coming designers and studios that are expanding the field of design. Each year, three designers or studios are recognized as a way to honor a variety of approaches in the constantly evolving landscape of contemporary design. The Award moves beyond pure product and furniture design to acknowledge technologically and conceptually vanguard pieces that work across multiple disciplines, offering the next generation of design creatives the opportunity to present newly commissioned works to an influential audience of collectors, dealers, and journalists at Design Miami/ Basel.

The W Hotels Designers of the Future Award also draws attention to design practices that exemplify new directions for the design field, and as W Hotels continues to transform into a global design powerhouse, the Award provides the W design and innovation teams with access to the world’s brightest talent in contemporary design. The objective for W Hotels is to create a vision of how guests in the future may conceptually interact with cutting-edge and technologically advanced design solutions throughout their W Living Rooms (re-interpretation of the staid hotel lobby) and guestrooms globally.

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. Candidates 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.

The winners have been selected by an international jury that included Tord Boontje of Royal College of Art; Wava Carpenter of Design Miami/; Aric Chen of Beijing Design Week; Ilse Crawford of Design Academy Eindhoven; designer Konstantin Grcic; Xiaowei Hu of Surface China; curator and writer Benjamin Layauté; Zoe Ryan of Art Institute Chicago; and Mike Tiedy of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, parent company of W Hotels Worldwide.

For this year’s commission, the winners have been given a brief entitled “From Spark to Finish.” The goal of this brief is to encourage the designers to create work that sheds light on their own creative process, demonstrating how the spark of inspiration evolves into material designs. The projects will involve an interactive element, encouraging visitors to experience the creative impulse for themselves.

2012 W Hotels Designers of the Future Award Winners

Tom Foulsham – Born 1981, Tom Foulsham received his MA in Design Products from the Royal College of Art in 2009, after graduating with a degree in Architecture from the Bartlett, UCL in 2004. He has worked in the practices of both Thomas Heatherwick and Ron Arad. His studio is based in London.

Markus Kayser – Born near Hannover, Germany in 1983. He studied 3-D Furniture and Product Design at London Metropolitan University and continued graduate work in Product Design at the Royal College of Art, where he earned his Masters in Arts and Design in 2011. That same year, he founded Markus Kayser Studio, with workspaces in both London and Germany.

Philippe Malouin – Born in 1982 in Québec, Canada, Philippe Malouin completed Industrial Design studies at the University of Montréal, the ENSCI in Paris and the Design Academy Eindhoven. Following his studies, Philippe Malouin freelanced for designer Tom Dixon.

The winners’ works will be unveiled at Design Miami/ Basel, which will be held 12-17 June 2012 from 11am-7pm daily. A press conference will be held on Monday, 11 June at 2:30pm, followed by a press preview from 3-6pm (registration required for press conference and preview). The Collectors Preview will be held the same day from 12pm to 6pm; Vernissage will be from 6-9pm and the Nocturne will be Thursday, 14 June from 7-9pm (all are invitation only).

Follow us on Twitter: @WHotels #WHotelsDOF and @DesignMiamiBlog #DesignMiami.

About Design Miami/
Design Miami/ is the global forum for design. Each fair brings together the most influential collectors, gallerists, designers, curators and critics from around the world in celebration of design culture and commerce. Occurring alongside the Art Basel fairs in Miami, USA each December and Basel, Switzerland each June, Design Miami/ has become the premier venue for collecting, exhibiting, discussing and creating collectible design. For more information, please visit www.designmiami.com and www.designmiamiblog.com

About W Hotels Worldwide
W Hotels is a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand and the industry innovator with 42 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 13 years of proven success, W Hotels is on track to reach 60 hotels by the end of 2015. W Hotels have been announced for Guangzhou, Singapore, Milan, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Athens – Astir Palace, Muscat, Mumbai, and Sante Fe, Mexico, while upcoming W Retreat & Spas® include Verbier and Mexico’s Riviera Maya. For more information, visit www.whotels.com. To live the W Hotels lifestyle 24/7/365, visit www.wresidences.com.

(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)

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Contact::

W Hotels Designers of the Future Award and Design Miami/Camron PR
Adnan Abbasi/Valentina Giani
+44(0) 20-7420-1700
Adnan.abbasi@camronpr.com
Valentina.Giani@camronpr.com


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