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This week, the winners of the “21c/FirstBuild Hotel Room of the Future” challenge were announced! But, who are the people behind the submissions? Get to know the winners of the challenge and learn all about their journeys to becoming challenge winners!

1st: Experience of the Future by Josh Beatty & Michael Casto 

Mike and Josh are cofounders of modulR Design, a Louisville based product development and innovation studio focused on solving multi-faceted design, development and production challenges.

Mike Casto is Chief Creative at modulR Design. When he’s not making beautiful products, Mike keeps himself busy in his woodworking shop and renovating his early 20th-century home. Mike explores the intersection of product, space and graphic design, and how they can best elevate user experiences.

Josh Beatty is CEO of modulR Design. From inventing ideas to growing new start-ups to reinvigorating Fortune 500 companies, Josh is focused on all facets of a business, including emerging trends and technologies and how they intersect with today’s needs.

2nd: Hello Penguin by TeamGSP

Gresham, Smith and Partners is a global multi-disciplinary design firm, with experience including hotels, dining, retail, spas and conference centers, often paired with high-end residential towers and offices in large mixed-use complexes.

Valli Wiggins is Lifestyle Design Director at GSP, creating “Instagram-worthy” hotel, restaurant, residential tower and entertainment venue designs that are sure to captivate and rejuvenate guests with fresh themes, memorable branding and unrivaled experiences.

Mary Reed is an Interior Designer at GSP who loves to connect with the world around her, which is why you’ll often find her hiking to the top of a mountain or exploring a new city. She is inspired by the new and unexpected with a “work hard, do good” mantra.

Kristen Prevost is an Interior Design Intern at GSP, and is a designer and avid reader; Kristen’s projects are all about storytelling. She cultivates authentic brand experiences through expressive interiors that resonate with guests. 

Brian Hubbard is an Architect at GSP who believes that transformative architecture is a fusion of design and research. He enjoys the explorative, collaborative elements of the design process and is always searching for better ways to create aesthetically exciting, functionally seamless guest environments.

3rd: Wonderful Amazing Magnificent Hotel by Andrew Roberson

Andrew Roberson is the owner of Durham Design Company, an industrial design studio located in Durham, North Carolina. Andrew is an award-winning designer with over ten years of product design experience. He received his BA from NC State University College of Design in industrial design.


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