I attended my first event last night since I joined the editorial team of Hospitality Design—an IIDA NY Hospitality Forum panel discussion, “The Influence of Hospitality Design in the Modern Workplace, Healthcare Spaces, and Residential Towers.” Hosted by Nancy Jackson, president of Architectural Systems, the dialogue focused on the ways in which principles of hospitality design are driving the design of spaces that are not typically considered part of the category.
The event took place at upscale, private workspace collective The NeueHouse, located in Gramercy Park in New York. A 50,000-square-foot space with an industrial-chic interior designed by David Rockwell of Rockwell Group, NeueHouse combines both work and social spaces, making it the perfect backdrop for the evening’s discussion, which attracted approximately 150 attendees.
“Experience is the new expectation,” Jackson said, and the panelists agreed. She was joined by a group of high-profile professionals, including Annie Lee of Environetics; Michael Samuelian of Related Companies (who is responsible for urban planning and architectural design of the $15-billion Hudson Yards redevelopment project in Manhattan); Barry Richards of Rockwell Group; and Bradley Rim of Andrew Fredman Architect. Jill VanDusen, who is project lead for HarperCollins Publishers’ upcoming office relocation to lower Manhattan; and Dr. Nedal Shami, COO of CityMD Urgent Care also joined the panel to give some perspective from the workspace and healthcare space sides.
Because I’m new to the hospitality design world, I was interested to hear the panelists’ perspectives on how the ethos can (and should) be applied to all areas of our lives—not just when we stay in a hotel or eat in a restaurant. “We’re taking things we’ve learned in hotel spaces and deploying them in residential, health, and workspaces,” Shami noted. “There’s a blending in terms of hospitality inspiring every space.”
Panelists also discussed how the Millennial generation is driving the shift. Employers such as HarperCollins, responding to fluctuations in the publishing industry, are discovering that creating work environments that appeal to recent graduates is important in attracting and retaining talent. These employees often value their experiences within spaces, and they relate those experiences to how they view themselves—tending to seek out environments that are familiar and make them feel cared for.
“Why do you go to work anymore?” Lee pointed out. “That is to collaborate. The workplace needs to give you a reason to go to work and meet with your co-workers.” Richards agreed. “You can work anywhere now, and you do work anywhere. Strict workspaces are becoming outdated.”
As someone who has worked extensively both remotely and as a freelancer, that certainly makes sense to me.