HD Talks

Marrying Social Media and Design

Posted by on March 25, 2015 in Events, social media, Trends, Web/Tech | 0 comments

You can’t talk about design, if you’re not (at the very least) talking about technology’s implicit impact on the way we look at design. What drives good design is not only about what photos pop up on social media sites—though that doesn’t hurt—but about sharing that experience via new channels, according to panelists at IIDA New York’s “Customizing the Guest Experience in Hospitality” event held last week and co-moderated by Nancy Jackson, co-chair of the Hospitality Forum and president of Architectural Systems Inc.


Panelists and moderators at the IIDA New York hospitality event (from left): Moderator Nancy Jackson, Architectural Systems Inc.; Toni Stoeckl, Marriott International; Kimberly Miller; Duncan Miller Ullman Design; Adam Rolston, Incorporated Architecture & Design; and moderator Barry Richards, Rockwell Group

“Experience matters. It matters more than stuff,” says Barry Richards, a co-moderator, IIDA New York chapter’s Hospitality Forum co-chair, and principal and studio leader at Rockwell Group. Continue reading →

Remembering Michael Graves 1934–2015

Posted by on March 18, 2015 in People, Uncategorized | 0 comments

By Michael Adams

Graves_Michael-224x390I first met Michael Graves at a black tie event in 2001 where we were seated at the same table. We weren’t at close proximity at dinner, but I was able to detect even in brief conversation his warmth, his sense of humor, and his keen intelligence.

It was several years later that I was part of a press event he hosted at his Princeton, New Jersey, home and studio to introduce a series of new products. By then, of course, he had suffered the effects of the infection that led to his paralysis and confined him to a wheelchair. Those of us who were there were awestruck at the beauty of his home, designed to suggest a villa in Rome, a city he cherished since his student days in the early ’60s.

But we were even more impressed with the agility of his maneuverings in his self-designed chair that allowed him to move in many directions, including up and down, with amazing ease and fluidity. Continue reading →

HD Summit: Puttin’ on the Ritz

Posted by on March 11, 2015 in Events, Uncategorized | 0 comments

By Michael Adams

A successful Hospitality Design Summit relies on a mysterious blend of elements. Location is one of them. This year’s event—our 15th—found the near perfect spot at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, California. With its expansive views of the Pacific, a neverending stream of surfers, two or three spectacular sunsets, and ideal brisk and sunny weather, the site made everyone—especially those of us escaping an endless winter—happy just to be there.

One of many stunning views from the Ritz-Carlton Laguna.

One of many stunning views from the Ritz-Carlton Laguna.

Then there are the speakers. We try very hard to gather an array of experts who offer guidance in leadership, creativity, motivation, and inspiration, and this year’s roster was particularly successful in engaging us. David Cooper, managing director of sales for Stewart Lender Services, who has been blind since his teenage years, spoke movingly (and often hilariously) of the challenges he faces in his daily Manhattan life, as well as on his frequent business trips. Continue reading →

State of the Industry

Posted by on March 4, 2015 in Trends | 0 comments

As HD gets ready for a few busy months with our HD Summit (happening this week in sunny California—which I’m not mad about), HD Expo, and our HD Awards, we’ll see firsthand how the industry has changed even over the past year. It’s exciting time to be in the business and that feeling of positivity is palpable, and a welcome relief from the years of the recession.

It’s been a little over a month since the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), and there’s still so much to talk about. But when many hotel leaders are in one room, what they say resonates—creating a ripple effect in the industry.

The lobby library at the Brice, a Kimpton Hotel in Savannah, part of an adaptive reuse project by designer Anna Busta.

The lobby library at the Brice, a Kimpton Hotel in Savannah, part of an adaptive reuse project by designer Anna Busta.

Indeed, during a hotel leaders panel at ALIS, top industry executives were also looking forward to the year ahead. Here are some of their top takeaways about the ever-evolving industry. Continue reading →

Loews’ OE Collection Seeks Originality

Posted by on February 26, 2015 in Projects, Trends | 0 comments

In college, I worked briefly for an online magazine. They wanted their staff to be “underground”—or posses originality. I had only joined because I was promised I could write TV reviews, which a rebel that does not make. So when they asked me what made me underground, I answered honestly that I was actually mainstream, hoping they’d see it as subversive, and not just blatant honesty.

This anecdote is a non-sequitur, but it reminded me of the way that hotels are also seeking that underground quality, to be original, authentic, experiential, unique. And while some (read: seemingly all) are launching lifestyle brands, others are using their resources to launch soft brands that position smaller hotels in the leagues with well-known entities.

In fact, Loews Hotels & Resorts recently launched its OE Collection, and I was able to speak with Constantine Dimas, senior vice president and chief business officer at Loews, about why the first hotel under the OE name, the Bisha Hotel & Residences in Toronto, is the perfect blueprint for what OE stands for and what’s to come from this soft brand. Continue reading →