Design-driven Swiss watchmaker Rado served as the Official partner of two New York design events: NYCxDESIGN, New York City’s official celebration of the global design scene and WantedDesign. As part of this city-wide celebration of design, Rado launched the first-ever U.S. edition of the Rado Star Prize, which is held internationally to promote the work of young designers. The stateside edition of the Rado Star Prize focused on exploring the concept of lightness and “a lighter way of living” – a theme embodied by Rado’s latest lightweight and minimalist watch collections.
Beacon, NY-based designer, Kimberly Markel, was announced as the winner of first U.S. Rado Star Prize during the May 7th NYCxDESIGN ceremony which took place at WantedDesign Brooklyn at Industry City. Markel won the prize for her Glow Collection – handcrafted from reclaimed plastic bonded with resin. This collection uses the unusual qualities of discarded plastics coming from soda bottles to styrofoam, lunch trays or eyeglasses, to make new pieces. The resulting aesthetic is soft looking, colorful, translucent, and imperfect. After a career in environmental policy, Markel worked at a foundry making large sculptures for artists like Jeff Koons. There, she started making her own work, and developing a process and material that would allow her to use existing materials in the objects she created, to truly have a lighter impact on the world. Not only was Markelthe winner of the Rado Star Prize U.S., but she also received the NYCxDESIGN award for Best Chair.
After this successful presence during NYCxDESIGN, Markel shared with WantedDesign a little bit more about her background and studio
WD: Tell us a little bit about you: your multidisciplinary education, your background.
KM: My education is in public policy, specifically, in environmental policy. I did my undergrad and grad work at Carnegie Mellon. CMU supports interdisciplinary studies, and I combined my coursework with a number of art and design classes. Nothing exists in isolation and the university promotes that exploration.