The recent Design Inn Symposium was a chance for Australasia’s hotel and hospitality design community to discuss the latest trends and shape future directions collaboratively. With top designers, architects, consultants, hotel owners and asset managers in attendance, the event generated interesting discussions for the Gallagher Jeffs team – below we share our key takeaways.
The face of hospitality design is changing, with greater emphasis being placed on the green agenda and community living. Forward thinking designers and architects are focusing on community-based living, mixing residential developments with village greens. Residents and guests are becoming involved in new networks, allowing activities such as communal vertical gardens to flourish and allotments now being included in new development plans, to truly create “communities in the sky”. As Mathew Dalby, Principal of Interior Design at Rothelowman, notes “sustainability isn’t a buzzword anymore – it should be a prerequisite for designers and developers alike. The way we live is changing and environmental considerations are a huge part of the shift”.
But it doesn’t stop there for the next generation of residents – modern generations are more focused on health and have a vested interest in the concept of ‘paddock-to-plate’, as opposed to the traditional notion of having a bar in the hotel. As trust for larger corporate brands begins to wane, those in hospitality are racing to provide consumers with authentic options, often through creating sub-brands that have an independent, local feel.
Facilitating convenience through design was another key topic that featured heavily at the event. Dalby believes that designers have a responsibility to crystal ball gaze and understand how society is changing. It’s difficult in today’s world – who knew five years ago that Netflix, Uber and Deliveroo would have changed the built environment to such a great extent? When developing new projects, Dalby and his team consider where food delivery bikes will be parked, whether there is enough room for deliverers and couriers to operate within the building, where drones could deliver to and even the space needed for cold food stores.
The Symposium certainly provided us with food for thought and a chance to consider how we provide clients with quality, sustainable results. As Dalby comments, “We are in the most exciting time for hospitality design since the industrial revolution. A lot can happen in five years and those that embrace the future will achieve longevity. It may be a different story for those that think we can rely on hotel loyalty cards”.