HD Talks

HD Expo: Rockwell Group Reimagines the Social Hub

Posted by on April 5, 2017 in Events

The Social Hub at HD Expo (Booth #5644) is the central nervous system of the show floor. In the past few years, we’ve had designs that run the gamut—a sleek retreat resembling the Delano from Morgans Hotel Group, a nod to Canopy thanks to Hilton, and the eclectic, whimsical design à la Andrew Alford’s Graduate brand. This year, we tasked Rockwell Group with creating that through-line—the very heartbeat of the show.

Of course, the New York firm is known for iconic interiors, including the latest Union Square Cafe and Nobu projects. But they’ve also won awards, including a Tony for set design for She Loves Me, and took on the gigantic task of reimagining the stage for the 81st and 82nd Academy Awards. In fact, think of the Social Hub as HD Expo’s Oscars stage.

A rendering of this year’s Social Hub from Rockwell Group.

The social hub, above all else, should be a place where people come to relax, set up meetings, and take in a few of our informal social hub discussions (more on that in a minute). For the design, Rockwell Group took inspiration from the energy, camaraderie, and color palette of a cool 1980s cafeteria and assembly room. It’s a John Hughes movie come to life.

Pops of teal, pink, and gold will infuse the 30- by 40-foot space with much needed color, and a pink-painted laser-cut plywood screen from Artline Group (booth #2669) will divide the space into a bar area and mini theater. Colors and textures, a variety of seating including custom bleachers, are designed to encourage conversations and socializing. Shaw Hospitality‘s (booth #3511) chevron-patterned resilient floor adds dimension to the space, while a glittery waterfall bar from Cambria (booth #5605) includes a metallic bar front from Astek (booth #4068) surrounded by stools from Aceray (booth #3657), dining and high top tables from Cambria, and Sunbrella (booth #5121) upholstered poufs and ottoman-height coffee tables from EGO Paris  (booth #3681). Those metallic wallcoverings from Astek will be showcased on a wall backing the bleachers as well. Thanks to all our sponsors for making Rockwell’s vision come to life.

Because the design is meant for people to hang out and linger, it’s the perfect setting for our four HD Conversations, including:

1 Brooklyn Bridge: A Sustainable Collaboration
Wednesday, May 3, 2017: 10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Speakers: Adam Rolston, Drew Stuart, and Gabriel Benroth of INC Architecture & Design with Kemper Hyers, Starwood Capital
Description: Following openings in Miami and Manhattan, 1 Brooklyn Bridge is the latest for Barry Sternlicht’s sustainable brand. Overlooking Brooklyn Bridge Park, the East River, and lower Manhattan, the hotel is a true celebration of Brooklyn and the natural landscape, as well as a testament to how good looking eco-friendly can be. Hear from the collaborators firsthand, about process, challenges, and standout results.

The Business of Good Design
Wednesday, May 3, 2017: 2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Speakers: Darrell Long, HBA; Duk Kim, Streetsense; Michael Suomi, Stonehill & Taylor; Scott Rosenberg, Jonathan Nehmer + Associates and HVS Design; and Susan LaFleur, Stantec
Description: Hiring. Winning projects. Negotiating fees. There is much more to running a design practice than just great design—that may be the easiest part. Industry veterans delve into the practice of good business and how they keep themselves on top.

Social Media and Design
Thursday, May 4, 2017: 10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Speakers: Danu Hassik, Parts and Labor Design, and Malcolm Berg, EoA
Description: Designers are not only crafting spaces for social media “likes,” but they’re also using the ubiquitous medium to tell stories behind the design. From Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, and, of course, Twitter, we’ll tackle best practices, building a brand, and communicating design through the internet.

Table Talk: Trends in F&B
Thursday, May 4, 2017: 2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Speakers: Billy Richardson, Block 16 Hospitality; Christopher Mercier, (fer)studio; Sondra Law, Gensler; and Stephen Francis Jones, SFJones Architects
Blurring use of spaces. Interactive experiences. Fine dining redefined. Those are just a few of the factors affecting restaurant and bar design today. Three experts in the field discuss what they are seeing, what they are paying attention to, and what they are creating.

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