Our friend and HIX partner Hamish Kilburn editor of Hotel Designs , explores the new era of Hospitality and Hotel Design that will culminate in a great discussion at the next Hotel Designs LIVE, which takes place on May 11.
Quite often in this industry, designers, architects and editors are mistaken for fortune tellers, expected to have all the answers about the future of hospitality and hotel design. But, even with all the best, most informed qualitative research behind us, who, in early 2020, would have predicted that here we would be sat here in 2021, working from home for the 12th month, in the middle of a pandemic following a highly contagious deadly virus breaking out around the world? It is these choreographed situations that are the catalyst for change.
A few months after the UK government put us into lockdown – a new phrase I didn’t think I would ever use in a column – Hotel Designs looked at meaningful ways to keep the industry connected while amplifying conversations around relevant topics. Cue the launch of Hotel Designs LIVE, a one-day virtual conference for all designers, architects, hoteliers and developers globally.
A few weeks ago, we broadcasted our third Hotel Designs LIVE event. In one of the four engaging panel discussions, we presented during the event, we turned up the volume on the topic around sound in design. The panel, which I curated specifically due to the projects that the designers and architects were working on, included Tina Norden, Partner at Conran and Partners; Mark Bruce, Director at EPR Architects and sound architect Tom Middleton. Together, an important theme in itself that HIX Event will explore in November, we went beyond acoustic solutions in hospitality in order to really understand the role of sound in wellness, wellbeing and this new era of lifestyle that we will stagger towards once we are able to.
Which got me thinking: what is this ‘new era of lifestyle’, and how do we design for it? Well, from the conversations I am having at the moment, it is clear that the hospitality landscape as we knew it pre-pandemic is changing – you only need to read about the recent merger between ACCOR and Ennismore to establish that lifestyle is king in hospitality in the roaring 20s… Like most evolutions in time, tomorrow’s hospitality arena will still be recognisable, but, in places, it will look and (importantly) feel more like an improved version – like a software update on Zoom, if you like (but without the glitches).
In our next Hotel Designs LIVE, which takes place on May 11, we will put ‘lifestyle’ through our crystal ball, with world-renowned designers and architects joining us on the virtual sofa. This session will effectively future-gaze towards the role of public areas post-pandemic and why brands are now designing spaces that are no longer accessible for all demographics, but instead targeted towards the niches, whether that be the Gen Z generation, ‘bleisure’ travellers or those who emerge from this lockdown simply with a new-found respect and demand for the bare necessities in hospitality. If you are a designers, architect, hotelier or developer and would like to join us at Hotel Designs LIVE for free, simply click here and register your place in the virtual audience (booking form takes less than two minutes to complete