• HIX 2022 welcomed 3,728 guests, up 16% from 2021
• Total registrants reached 6,568, up 25% from 2021
• 135 leading exhibitors from across the entire hotel supply chain
On 17 & 18 November, HIX 2022 welcomed 3,728 guests to London’s Business Design Centre for a true celebration of everything that makes hotels incredible. Bringing the hospitality community together for two days of talks, parties, installations and a curated edit of 150 leading design brands, the ever-changing design experience provided a platform for the latest and greatest in hotel design and welcomed the entire hotel supply chain – from architects and designers to investors, operators, specifiers, projects managers and developers.
Under the guiding theme of ‘great things will grow’, HIX 2022 was a showcase of the hotel market’s remarkable ability to adapt, evolve and thrive following a once-in-a-generation crisis. Recognising both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, this year’s event represented a new chapter for the hospitality design industry, as new ways of thinking about the built environment, the guest experience and the industry’s place and purpose in the world emerged in the wake of great disruption.
Representing the best of the bathroom, surface, technology, furnishing and fabric sectors and the full scale of the interior hospitality space, major suppliers including Grohe, Laufen, Roca, Hansgrohe, Chelsom, Duxiana, Hypnos, Muuto, Ege Carpets and Table Place Chairs were joined by the best emerging names like Marset, Moooi and Joe Scog for a curated edit of the latest trends and ideas.
Across the show-floor, HIX was also the launch platform for several brand-new products set to define hotel interiors for the seasons ahead. New lighting pieces from Fritz Fryer and Northern Lights were joined by a slate of bathroom releases including refreshed colourways from Roman and the new Arystro Sleek shower range from Merlyn. Likewise, the introduction of Welltek’s Tablebed to the UK market was highlighted as part of a hybrid hotel stand concept demonstrating the increasingly blurred lines between office and hospitality environments.
“It was fantastic! I made great connections and the energy in the room was amazing,” said one visitor, whilst others commented on the “Great mix of exhibitors and the high quality of the audience.”
Exploring the future of hotel design, HIX Talks 2022 investigated topics from the changing face of urban hospitality and net zero design strategies to metaverse hotels, the power of storytelling and the redefinition of ‘all-inclusive’ resorts. Featuring 11 talks and 20 expert speakers, this year’s Kohler-sponsored programme included a keynote from legendary British designer Nigel Coates, who challenged the introduction of Artificial Intelligence into hotel design in ‘F**k the Algorithm; it’s empathy that counts’, as well as a look behind the curtain of hotel members clubs with the people behind The Other House, Birch, The Twenty Two and The Cover.
Day two, meanwhile, saw Eric Jafari (Chief Development Officer and Creative Director, edyn), Damien Perrot (Global Senior Vice President Design & Innovation, Accor) and designer Tristan du Plessis explore hotels in the new metropolis, with the conversation touching on everything from the 15 minute city urban planning model to the challenges of long-stay guestroom kitchens. Elsewhere, three experts with skin in the metaverse game demystified the blockchain jargon and stated the case for digital hotels, whilst the Festival of Hospitality-hosted ‘From sustainability to regeneration: designing for an earth-centred future’ saw Caroline Till, co-founder of futures agency FranklinTill, explain the power of creativity in an era following the agency’s work on the acclaimed Barbican exhibition ‘Our Time on Earth.’
A late close Thursday Social saw a series of stand activations and pop-up parties take place across the show floor, with the HIX exhibitor community giving guests a taste of their expert hospitality. From a DJ spinning the sounds of Salone at the Gessi stand and a vintage sparkling wine tasting with Concept Contract to live music at the Astro Light Lounge and a breakout discussion exploring the new Novotel guestroom design with Ligne Roset and RF Studio, the Business Design Centre was a hive of activity.
Elsewhere, HIX supported future design leaders with the Next Gen & Tonic mixer on Friday afternoon, welcoming midweight designers to the Mush Room for a networking session dedicated to connecting rising hotel design stars, whilst the launch of Kindling Collective in collaboration with ReardonSmith, MKV Design and restaurant designer Yova Yager kicked off a year-long platform to mentor, support and elevate the work of Ukrainian design students.
“At Hansgrohe we are incredibly proud to be founding members of HIX,” said Katie Weston, Project Sales for A&D at Hansgrohe following the Hansgrohe-sponsored Next Gen & Tonic afternoon. “Supporting the next generation of architects and designers is absolutely crucial in future-proofing the industry and bringing fresh thinking and ideas to the hotel space.”
THE MUSH ROOM
Designed by Belgian interiors and branding studio WeWantMore, The Mush Room was HIX 2022’s stunning show bar and social space, the centrepiece of which was a ground-breaking mycelium bar literally grown for the occasion. Created in collaboration with organic material artist Côme Di Meglio and creative studio La Succulente and inspired by this year’s ‘great things will grow’ theme, the Mush Room bar was a showcase of sustainable hospitality design at its finest; an innovative, waste-free, temporary fixture that will now return to the earth following its moment in the sun.
Demonstrating the incredible potential of mycelium, the structure composed interwoven fungus roots that were cultivated to channel both architectural and spiritual resonance. As Di Meglio noted, “I believe mycelium has intrinsic sensory qualities that creates a virtuous resonance within our bodies. I have been working with this material for 4 years and have taken care to observe and give the mycelium the space it needs to express its incredible potential… With this bar, the binding power of mycelium is expressed both physically and socially, through the human interactions it nurtured.”
“The overall shape of the mycelium bar had a sacral feel to it,” added Ruud Belmans, co-founder of WeWantMore. “Almost like a tomb of some kind, telling us that it is time to bury our traditional way of thinking and reflect on new ideas when it comes to designing hospitality spaces.”
“From last year’s theme of ‘all together now’ we felt that 2022 was all about great things growing, and the return of hotels,” says Joel Butler, co-founder of HIX. “This feeling of post-covid recovery, next-gen thinking and optimism could be felt on the stands, in the aisles, the talks, and of course, the already iconic Mush Room bar. It was a fantastic few days.”
HIX will return on 16-17 November 2023 – don’t miss out.