With my final year of design school at it’s start and my second to last semester well on its way, I am posed to design my future. An assignment to plan our next 10 years, year by year, followed by the proceeding years in 10 year increments.
Me - 5 years old
So what’s a kid to do? A daunting task; to define my goals with the real frame-work and perspective of time. I’m always making goals and have buckets of dreams, but upon review, these goals and dreams may be flighty, and/or incomplete. After the exercise I feel I gained both a better understanding of what it is I want in my life and a reality check on how time can be our worst enemy if ignored.
Me at 25 years old - I don’t wear glasses (these are my grandad’s) but who knows…maybe in 5 years.
At this point, I’d much prefer to make a list of the material things I hope to aquire in my humble existence on this earth. Here are some superficial things in order from nearest future, to furthest.
In the next 5 years: Basenji. An ancient breed of dog, said to have been gifts to Egyptian Pharos from other African societies of the southern Nile.
In the next 10 years: Burberry Trench
In the next 20 years: A kick ass espresso machine
In the next 30 years: Eames Lounge. Duh, who doesn’t. I like the black on black one.
In the next 40 years: To live out my retirement in style
In summary, here are a few commonalities I found in Hospitality Industry trend reports:
1. Social Media, Online Presence, & Mobility
I grouped these three all in one because they all basically say one thing: we’re on our phones all the time. Whether it’s a cause or effect or completely unrelated travelers are showing we have a constant need for the internet, and have totally no patients for anything. I want to check-in now and god forbid I have to look away from my hand-screen to do it. Hotel’s are providing these services by developing apps for their properties, growing their social media exposure, and boosting online websites in order to accumulate brand loyalty, and increase the speed and efficiency of reaching the market.
I loved reading how the industry is showing people actually care about how they spend their time, and value the hotel stay as a part of their traveling experience. This is a great step in the right direction for social values, because as a result we prefer higher quality experience with higher quality everything. This promotes unique individual design, quality and healthy food, and an over all better standard for traveling.
With economic and social changes of our time the Hospitality industry is showing some new and returning types of travelers. With the American economy supposedly on the incline more people are spending more time on vacation. Mainly the boomer generation, are now reaching retirement or, for one reason or another, starting to take more vacations. Economic growth in other countries has show a growth in international travelers. Then, there are the millennia’s. Let’s not forget about them…or should I say US. We’re one of the first generations of our size to truly show a unique perspective of our world, and dramatically different values that the generations before. Anyhow, moral of the story is Hotel and restaurant architects and interior designers must be in a mad dash has always to come up with innovative and new types of designs to meet the demands of these newer travelers.
The Generator Hostel - Barcelona
I began and ended this post with images of the Generator Hostel; a concept of hostels that I find truly inspiring. The design of the hostel, brand, and concept seem to me to be indicative of the time we’re in now and the direction we’re headed — and I love it!!
As part of a series of research, to better learn about the Hospitality industry and it’s effects on Hospitality Interior Design, I studied the use of Hotels as learning labs. While in Denver, Colorado this summer I had the opportunity to stay at the SpringhillSuites Denver Downtown at Metro State. The Hotel was attached to the college’s impressive Hotel and Restaurant Management learning center, and the hotel its self acted as a resource for students and faculty of the Metro State University program. The SpringhillSuites is a Marriott brand of hotels that utilizes modern findings in the hospitality research and showcases new and innovative ways of hotel design.
The hotel has a staff made up of students of Metro State University that were getting hands on experience while in school. The lobby was bright and inviting and showcased creative uses of light and textures that drew me in. Directly adjacent was their lobby, which is now considered more of a “living room”, in which manny interesting seating groups promoted interaction and socializing among travel companions and guests.
I was traveling with two of my friends at the time, and being of the “millennial” generation enjoyed our time together at the hotel. Wine and beer was sold in the evening that added to the pleasantness of our stay as we relaxed and viewed the Denver skyline. I left with the impression that the Marriott truly understood their target audience for the SprinHill Suites, and that the students in Metro’s college of Hospitality and Restaurant Management were privileged to have the hotel as a Learning Lab.
Nothing is wrong with pretty. The well worn phrase that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” comes to mind when asked to advocate the value of beauty and the role of aesthetics in design. This may be because there truly is no more concise way of putting that beauty is relative. As designers, we attempt to define what people perceive as beautiful. In interior design, aesthetics are an integral part of what designers set out to do. Isn’t the job of an interior designer to make and organize an environment into a beautiful space? Or is it to plan an effective setting for the necessary program of human activities? Arguably both, beauty and efficiency, are needed for successful interior design, but beauty is the more subjective of the two.
The elements and principles of design have been developed in order to define objective support to what commonly “works”, but even those rules can be broken and work, or followed and fail. The efficiency of design, however, is more of a science than an art. Efficient design, or sustainable design, can tend to be an anti-slogan because something created that is not efficient and sustainable is poorly designed. Waste, for example, is a design issue that attracts the attention of designers and even engineers. Point being, the efficiency of design is not only a part of design it is the ultimate goal. The beauty and the aesthetic quality of the design product, interior space, or building is an element in the designs efficiency. Theoretically, if not all aspects of design are met then the design is a failure. Whether or not the beauty and aesthetic quality of a design can be considered physiologically beneficial, cultural relevant, or historically tried and true, if beauty is disregarded, or the end product is not commonly perceived as beautiful, then ultimately the design failed.
The subjectivity, and relativity of beauty is an endless and multifaceted argument, but the role it plays in design is simple. Design effectiveness, function, and efficiency are examples of what interior design must solve. A problem that has an answer. Aesthetics and the strive to make something beautiful, in comparison, is the fuel that drives us to solve these problems. To ask what is the importance of something being beautiful is similar to asking why one should strive for greatness. If we design with only solving a problem in mind then the results risk only being sufficient rather than excellent.