Here are nine designers to know NOW. These under-the-radar (for now) professionals are challenging the status quo in the design industry, and we’ve chosen them as this year’s winners of our Young Guns awards. We profiled each winner to showcase how their work impacts the greater design community. #CurbedYG
  1. Germane Barnes
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    As designer-in-residence of the Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation, Germane Barnes works to revitalize Opa-Locka, Florida using art and architecture to build and engage the community. Since 2013, he has helped rejuvenate the city’s core with development projects like enlisting 200 volunteers and landscape artist Walter Hood to repaint a stretch of highway to show how a small amount of money can activate and enliven the area. Photo by Matt Roy. Full story:
  2. Natalie Myers
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    Natalie Myers is the owner and founder of LA-based Veneer Designs, a firm providing skilled interior design, architecture, sourcing, and execution on projects at a variety of scales and blends. Myers sets herself apart from the rest of the interior design industry by offering a flat-fee pricing structure with no markups, meaning she can pass the savings from the trade discounts she’s offered (!). It’s a win-win for clients. Photo by Austin Nelson. Full story:

  3. Kelly Golden and Jordan Zielke, Golden Sign Co.
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    Kelly Golden and Jordan Zielke are the co-founders of Detroit’s Golden Sign Co. Since establishing the high-end, hand-painted signage company in 2014, the 28-year olds, who studied under painting master Doc Guthrie at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, have taken on projects that range from window and truck lettering to murals—like this one inside the Joe Louis Arena. Photo by Michelle and Chris Gerard. Full story:
  4. Danny Montoya
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    Danny Montoya created The Butterfly Joint, a woodworking studio for children 18 months (!) and up. Before classes begin, each kid punches in on an old-fashioned time clock and puts on a denim apron before learning how to make anything from wooden dice to a cutting board. “Working with wood, they are learning how to reason and solve problems,” the former Kindergarten teacher says. “Using tools gives them a sense of independence and accomplishment.” Photo by Patricia Chang.
  5. Gwen Schantz
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    Gwen Schantz is COO of Brooklyn Grange, where she helps run two of the largest rooftop farms in the world while leading the firm’s green design and installations division. Schantz aims to design ecosystems that allow plants and organisms to thrive, which, in turn, shape an environment where people can thrive. Just this year, the company installed a 20,000 square foot rooftop meadow in Williamsburg with a 2,000 square foot herb garden. Photo by Mark Wickens. Full story:
  6. John Hogan
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    John Hogan is a Seattle-based glass artist. His work is cast, sculpted, cut, and furnaced-forged at dizzyingly high temperatures. What he ends up with are unique creations that more closely resemble prismatic space rock than anything else. “That’s the great thing about the Pacific Northwest,” says Hogan. “All the studios are doing completely different things that don’t feel like New York or LA or Italy. You can just follow your creative instincts.” Photo by Charlie Schuck.
  7. Ben Keen
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    As an art director at New York-based studio Visualhouse, Ben Keen produces videos and photorealistic renderings for architects and developers. Since helping establish the firm’s New York office in 2011, it’s Keen’s job to imagine the future of yet-to-be-completed building interiors, exteriors, and even city skylines. Pictured here is a Visualhouse rendering of an interior at Richard Meier's Ward Village Gateway in Hawaii.
  8. Sarah Lineberger
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    Floral designer Sarah Lineberger has been working in the flower industry since she was just 15. The now 27-year-old is floral director of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in L.A. by day and in her free time creates eye-catching, unconventional arrangements that often use found objects like palm tree trunk scraps and coconut skin. “I’m looking for something that’s new and different and kind of challenges me as well,” she says of her aesthetic. Photo courtesy of Sarah Lineberger.
  9. ASH NYC
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    Jonathan Minkoff, Ari Heckman, and Will Cooper lead ASH NYC, a firm that blends the worlds of real estate development and interior design. Their specialty? Rehabilitating neglected buildings into new apartments and hotels. Pictured here an interior of The Dean Hotel, a former brothel that the ASH NYC team transformed into a 52-room boutique hotel in Providence. Photo courtesy ASH NYC.