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The WSJ. Magazine 2017 Innovators are an outstanding group of individuals recognized for setting new ground in their fields. The innovators are honored at a red carpet gala at the Museum of Modern Art, and each awardees’ story is showcased in a video tribute by MediaStorm.

WSJ. Magazine 2017 Design Innovator: Roman + William is the brainchild and labor of love, of Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch. With backgrounds in film, architecture, and set design, the duo bring a discerning eye that aims to “warm up the world”. Their landmark projects, including the Ace Hotel (New York), the Boom Boom Room at the Standard Hotel, and the Facebook cafeteria in Silicon Valley, all redefine what thoughtful design can–and should–do. They are celebrated for their past works and the exciting projects in the works, including the redesign of the British Galleries at the Met and their forthcoming retail space, the Guild.

Client: WSJ. Magazine
Published: November 2, 2017


The Wall St. Journal Magazine, for its seventh annual Innovator Awards, required short, fast paced, but personal, stories of innovation from each of its seven winners.

The Challenge

The challenge was to create a film that showed the breadth of Roman+Williams’ work in only 60 seconds, while also giving the principal designers an appropriate platform to detail what defines them as designers.

The Solution

Director Samia Khan focused on the duo’s design philosophy and worked with Editor and Producer, Tim McLaughlin, to boil down the core sentiment of their 90-minute interview to about 45 seconds. With the core concepts of the piece decided, McLaughlin illustrated their philosophy through the idea of resurrection, largely because their design often focuses on the personal history of objects, and how to reanimate them for their modern customers. This idea became the conceptual underpinning of the piece.


The film premiered at the WSJ. Magazine 2017 Innovator Awards, on November 1st, and then published on the Wall St. Journal’s and MediaStorm’s websites the next day. It is a key tool for driving awareness to the magazine and the prestigious awards themselves.

About the Client

With five global editions spanning 62 countries, WSJ. Magazine—which publishes 12 issues a year—is The Wall Street Journal's luxury-lifestyle publication dedicated to the power and passions of the Journal's readership.

Individual Films

WSJ. Magazine 2017 Entertainment Innovator: Reese Witherspoon creates stories with women as heroes of their own journeys. In creating these films, she hopes to be part of a sea change in which women’s experiences are reflected on screen. Watch it now.

Since 2002, WSJ. Magazine 2017 Design Innovator: Roman and Williams, have been re-defining modern design to create spaces that are inviting, warm, and create a deep sense of belonging. Watch it now.

WSJ. Magazine 2017 Performing Arts Innovator: Ryan Heffington is a choreographer, director, and performance artist, who inspires viewers the world over and redefines the possibilities for dance. Watch it now.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro works at the intersection of architecture, visual and performing arts. It’s recognized as a WSJ Magazine 2017 Innovator for its ability to defy expectations and create spaces that are open to the public. Watch it now.

WSJ. Magazine 2017 Technology Innovator: Musical.ly, is an app that tweens use to create videos lip syncing to their favorite songs. It now has upwards of 90 million registered users, making it one of the world’s most popular apps. Watch it now.

WSJ. Magazine 2017 Art Innovator: Mark Bradford, has made a career of creating art borne of his personal experience. His work at the Venice Biennale explores the darkest moments of U.S. history while channeling his own perspective on hope. Watch it now.

WSJ. Magazine 2017 Fashion Innovator: Raf Simons brings his unique eye and appreciation for cultural critique to his work as the Chief Creative Officer of the iconic American brand, Calvin Klein. Watch it now.

MediaStorm partnered with the WSJ. Magazine to produce seven short films honoring each of the awardees of the Magazine’s seventh annual Innovator Awards. Watch it now.

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