HD Talks

HD Expo: Social Status

Posted by on April 6, 2016 in Events

It’s that time of the year again. No, not tax season or “Is Beyonce releasing a new album or is she just teasing us?” season, though it is both of those things, too. But it’s also, and most importantly, HD Expo season! Here at HD HQ,  we’ve been toiling away at our opus of an issue, while also planning and plotting for an epic 25th anniversary celebration at HD Expo, held in Vegas from May 4-6th at Mandalay Bay.

One of our favorite projects when it comes to HD Expo is conceiving the Social Hub (Booth #3134 and magazine home base). This year, we’ve enlisted the talented Andrew Alford, chief creative officer of AJ Capital Partners, to helm the hub. To say we’re excited to have him on board is an understatement. AJ Capital’s Graduate Hotels, located in college towns throughout the U.S., achieve high-design with a clever, fun vibe.

Alford is creating for us a Graduate Hotel lite experience, bringing his vibrant vision to life in a 30-by-40-foot space. Thanks to our Social Hub sponsors who are bringing that design to life: American Leather, Astek, Bryan Ashley, Kravet Contract/Curated Kravet; OW Hospitality; and Seasonal Living with an assist from Julie Coyle Art Associates.


A rendering of the Social Hub (thanks to SONNY+ASH)

Expect the unexpected with bold patterns, vibrant colors, whimsy and wit used thoughtfully throughout the space. “There is a DNA that runs through the [Graduate] brand,” Alford tells us, no matter which property you’re in. “The common threads tend to be eccentric preppy elements like plaids, houndstooths, unexpected color combinations, vintage inspired art, and scholastic elements like chalkboards. I wanted to represent a greatest hits collection of designs inspired by our properties.


A guestroom at the Graduate Oxford in Mississippi

“The wing chairs and card catalog communal table could have been in Charlottesville, Virginia; the plaid sofas could have been in Oxford, Mississippi; the barrel chairs could have been in Madison, Wisconsin; and the large pop art sectionals could have been in Athens, Georgia.”

He continues: “Graduate is an optimistic brand. We wanted the space to reflect that. The design is filled with humor, fun, and a sense of fond memories of our college glory days.”


The lobby at Graduate Athens in Georgia

The Social Hub is also designated as a spot to relax, charge phones, and listen to a few of our informal 30-minute HD Conversations that will take place over the two-day event, including:

Social Media and Design
Wednesday May 4
10-10:30 a.m.

Andrew Alford, chief creative officer, AJ Capital Partners
Bashar Wali, president, Provenance Hotels
Tony Machado, vice president and head of design and construction, Morgans Hotel Group

Restoring Beauty
Wednesday, May 4
2:30-3 p.m.

Hoyt Harper, senior vice president and global brand manager, the Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts

Refined Vision
Thursday, May 5,
10-10:30 a.m.

Alexandra Chamalimaud, founder, Champalimaud

Hyatt Brand Creation and Recreation
Thursday, May 5, 2016
2:30-3 p.m.

Paul Vega, partner, VLDG
Mike Suomi, VP design, Stonehill & Taylor
Gary Dollens; Globa head of design and product and brand development, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

We can’t wait to see you there!

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