Take a sneak peek at the Willow and Stump-designed awards that our 2019 DOTY winners will receive this September.

Five years back, we had the realization that our incredible cohort of Designers of the Year winners deserved more than a certificate or plaque to celebrate their success. These are people who have made design their life's work: our awards should bring as much beauty into their lives as they've brought into ours.

And so, we started tapping previous DOTY champions to help us out and create an award objet that would spark delight and conversation. For this year's trophies, 2018 Furniture Designer of the Year Willow and Stump stepped up to lend their talents to the cause.

The Vancouver-based design firm (helmed by duo Kaly Ryan and Bram Sawatzky) took the Western Canadian origins of our winners to heart when they sat down to create a custom award.

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Kaly Ryan (left) and Bram Sawatzky of Willow and Stump. (Photo: Carlo Ricci.)

"For the 2019 DOTY award, we wanted to create a physical object that would feel representative of designers from all of the provinces of Western Canada, including the more central provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba," Ryan explains. "Bram and I have lived in or spent significant time in all of the Western Canadian provinces and we both feel very connected to the landscapes here."

So for this award, they looked at their own line of Horizon Lights, which depict the mountains, lakes and skies of British Columbia via backlit corian, and created a miniature version of that same design to give to each winner.

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Rendering of this year's DOTY award by Willow and Stump.

"The flat base symbolizes the expansive fields of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba," explains Ryan. Ash was chosen as the wood because it is a native species to these three provinces—not to mention the yellow tone  is similar to canola fields that pepper the prairie landscape.

It's a thoughtfully crafted piece (which lights up, thanks to tiny battery-powered LEDs) that aims to remind our 2019 DOTY winners (who will be unveiled this September!) where they've come from, and to thank them for making this such a beautiful place to live. "Through considering and celebrating the landscape where our Designers of the Year live, we hope to represent a collective Western identity for this year’s award," says Ryan.

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