Beacon, New York-based designer Kim Markel took home the inaugural Rado Star Prize U.S., awarded at NYCxDesign last month, for her Glow Chair, an environmentally friendly chair from her Glow collection. Chosen from 10 finalists, the designer won the Rado HyperChrome Dual Timer and $5,000 in prize money.
The chair, like the rest of the collection, is made by hand from reclaimed plastic bonded with resin. The plastic is sourced from soda bottles, Styrofoam, lunch trays and eyeglasses, among other no-longer-usable products.
Swiss watch brand Rado served as sponsor of NYCxDesign and WantedDesign this year, launching the first-ever U.S. edition of its Star Prize competition, in celebration of young designers’ work. The award is focused on innovative use of materials in products including housewares, decorative items, office accessories, and gift ideas for living spaces, hewing to this year’s theme of “Lightness.”
“When I saw that Swiss luxury watch brand Rado was searching for projects that captured the spirit of lightness through innovative design, I knew I had to submit my work,” says Markel. “After spending a year making that very idea of ‘lightness’ tangible, both aesthetically and by creating in a way with concern for environmental impact, I was really honored and excited to see that Rado and WantedDesign embraced the concept and the work. To be in the company of the people from Rado, WantedDesign, NYCxDESIGN and all the other exhibitors is truly an honor.”
Prior to starting her own practice, Markel worked in environmental policy, and also worked at a foundry making large sculptures for artists including Matthew Barney and Jeff Koons.