You can usually look to the winners of the W Hotels Designer of the Future Award as a good indication of what’s new and next in design. This year in Milan, Bethan Laura Wood from the UK, Seung-Yong Song from Korea and Canadian Jon Stam were announced as the latest generation to be recognised for the honour. Started in 2006 by Design Miami/, the prize seeks out new design talent that goes beyond a focus on pure products to work across disciplines, ideas and technology.

The flamboyantly dressed Bethan Laura Wood is known for her limited-edition collections Moon Rock and Totem, which take the colours, patterns and motifs of everyday objects and turn them into something extraordinary.

Jon Stam, now based in Amsterdam, makes objects based on interactions, finding ways to organise the worlds of analogue and digital. He made Bioscope, a viewer that turns movies you supply with a USB stick into a set of images frame by frame; and Curiosity Cabinet, a set of 16 drawers that hold physical artefacts embedded with digital information.

Korean Seung-Yong Song takes an off-beat approach to furniture and product design. With his furniture series Objets, he questioned our stereotypes about furniture uses with multi-purpose pieces that combine two or more functions. And with the Dami series, he experimented with CNC processing and ew material Valchromat to make a range of beautiful basket-like forms.

Tasked with finding this year’s winners was a jury including Z33’s Jan Boelen; Alexis Georgacopoulos of Ecole Cantonale d'art de Lausanne (ECAL); Marianne Goebl of Design Miami/ and Aric Chen of M+ Museum Hong Kong.