Event Preview: HIX Talks

What’s next for zero waste design? Why are hotels betting on the metaverse? Why should today’s designers care about imaginary visions, futuristic tales and the power of fiction?

HIX Talks is back with an expanded programme of panels, keynotes and deep-dives exploring the future of hotel design. Read on for a taste of what to expect.

Find the full lineup here and register for free today.

Absolute Zero: What’s Next for Zero-Waste Hospitality Design?

As the zero-waste movement enters the mainstream, the hospitality industry is turning to circular concepts and zero waste pledges in a bid to create more sustainable and ethical supply chains. But what’s next in the push for absolute zero? Can design give back more than it takes? And what will this mean for the guest experience? Brendan Mullard, Co-founder and Director of sustainable hospitality design specialists Object Space Place, says: “We now see this as an essential thread in every single project. Our restorative design framework means that from the first site visit we are asking what existing elements we can retain, and how we can reduce the impact of anything new.”

Members Only: Behind the Curtain of Hotel Members Clubs

Creating organic guest communities that extend beyond a hotel’s four walls is a necessity in today’s hospitality market. Take a look behind the curtain with this Thursday morning panel and see how three of the best hotel member’s clubs leverage a subscription model to drive loyalty and engagement. “Members’ clubs create a sense of community that guests can readily engage with; seeking new and varied experiences and feeling a part of the local neighbourhood will be the touch points of the future.” says Naomi Heaton, CEO of The Other House.

Into The Metaverse: Why Hotels are Betting on Cyberspace

edge or a glitch in the system? With hotel designers and operators diving into the the metaverse, the hotel experience finds itself at the forefront of emergent digital environments and facilitating new social experiences. But beyond all the buzzwords, what does it mean for the guest? Emma Chiu, Global Director, Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, notes: “Metaverse destinations will not be a digital twin of existing cities, instead they will consist of newly created places; designers will be able to explore the expansiveness of creativity in the digital world and visitors will be able to have out-of-this-world experiences.”

Sens Fiction: Fiction and The Future of Design

Why should today’s designers care about imaginary visions, futuristic tales, and the power of fiction? This is the question at the heart of Sens Fiction, an immersive exhibition curated by Paris-based RF Studio and Bureau des Usages that looks to visions of human imagination across literature, film and advertising to discern the future of design and the potential of its useage. Exploring how guests of the future will inhabit space via this fiction-based future-gazing platform, this session will see architect, designer and Sens Fiction’s curator Ramy Fischler share some of the exhibition’s highlights and look to how fiction can work to the service of brands, operators and designers alike. “Being aware of the sometimes invisible connections that unite, in a common trajectory, imaginary visions, industries, economies, uses, and sciences, sharpens our critical eye and helps us, as designers, rise to the challenges of our time,” the curators explain.

Inner City Pressure: Hotels in the New Metropolis

Whilst most major cities have resumed regular programming following the pandemic’s disruption, a cursory look behind the concrete and glass facade reveals that the purpose, composition and core values of the modern metropolis have all changed. The impact may not be as visible as the emptied streets and shuttered shops that characterised the height of lockdowns, but transformative stressors with the scale of COVID rarely deal in immediacies alone. Indeed, nearly three years on, the lingering effects of remote working, dwindling commutes, forced closures and shifts in social preference are continuing to drive change in the global urban fabric. “Turbulent times like these do more to reshape human behaviour than anything else, especially in cities,” says Eric Jafari, CCO of Edyn and Locke, who will speak on this Friday afternoon panel. “Increased importance is being placed on the social and environmental agenda, and we see this playing one of the more critical roles in hospitality going forward. Consumers will come to demand more from their hotel stays, and we see hospitality becoming increasingly tribal, with each hospitality experience targeting a tribe instead of function incorporating the elements of F&B, wellness, members and coworking that resonate most.”

The Ultimate Resort.

Tasked by Accor to research and design a masterplan for the ultimate new resort, Conran & Partners present a new resort typology, and redefine the phrase ‘all inclusive’ for a new generation of guests. Join Federico Toresi, (Global Vice President Design, Luxury & Premium Brands, Accor) and Tina Norden, (Partner, Conran + Partners) to hear what the future holds to resort hospitality and the social, commercial and aesthetic factors set to change the experience.

The Stories We Tell: In Praise of Spatial Experience

Experience alone is not enough; the best hotels tell a story through a combination of service and tangible space, and the closer this connection the more vivid, intriguing and resonant the results will be. Having designed acclaimed hospitality projects for major brands and independent boutique labels alike, Tel Aviv-based studio Baranowitz + Kronenberg know this better than most, and will share the fundamentals of their narrative driven, people-centred approach to kick off HIX 2022’s forward-thinking conference programme. “A narrative-driven design is key for developing a holistic experience where the sum is greater than its parts.” Say Alon Baranowitz and Irene Kronenberg. “Like any good book, each of its paragraphs build up and season the plot with layers of context and subtext which can leave us anywhere along the scale of bewitched, bothered, and bewildered… So as much as the plot thickens and the spaces develop and morph, there is always the narrative to watch over us and make sure that the result is holistic, coherent and inspiring.”