International Design Companies Created Unique Installations at Sleep, Hotel Design Event in London, exploring “Loyalty: Lessons in Love”
This year’s Sleep Set, the feature at Europe’s hotel design event, Sleep, which pulls no punches in delivering challenging, original and layered installations, presented four hotel room design sets destined to provoke thought on the pressing question of loyalty in today’s hotel world. Selected for their diverse experience, outlook and culture, the participating companies were: Italian firm, Il Prisma, with studios in London as well as in Italy and a portfolio that extends across workplace, retail and hospitality design; 1508 London, the leading luxury residential design studio who are bringing their magic to hospitality; Stonehill & Taylor, the hospitality-focused architecture and design studio from New York City; and London-based MKV Design which specialises in the interior architecture and design of high-end hotels and resorts around the globe.
The theme had been crafted in collaboration with global leader in customer experience research, Ipsos Loyalty, and asked such questions as – What does loyalty mean in this age? What might the hotel industry learn from other sectors? And how does design help operators meet changing guest expectations? Glion Institute of Higher Education UK, dedicated to hotel and tourism management, had also been working with Sleep to develop a new research paper on the subject of loyalty, and several of the sessions at the conference, which ran alongside the Sleep Set, brought together experts from across the hospitality industry to debate related issues.
Il Prisma, Photo by Beth Crockatt
In the opinion of Gilberto Vizzini of Il Prisma, the challenge is to convert a one-night stand into a long-term love affair. “Hotels and their designers now have a great opportunity to elicit guest loyalty by combining physical and digital worlds into a new ‘phigital’ paradigm,” he says. “This has the potential not only to create connections between the hotel and its neighbourhood but to deliver new networks for guests when they return home. In our Sleep Set, we proposed a system suitable for all types of hotels that explored the “phigital” model. The results will be unexpected, sociable, sexy and, above all, flexible so that hotels and their guests can go on having new experiences together.”
1508, Photo by Beth Crockatt
For 1508, it is the small details that create strong attraction and form people’s memories. “Details incite an emotional connection to a space and bring guests back,” explains 1508’s Hamish Brown. “Visitors to our stand were invited to play a part in imagining a space full of moments of attraction for them, moments that in turn create loyalty and love.”
By contrast, Stonehill & Taylor is thinking about the global context: “Our Hotel Irus reflected and drew on a multi-cultural wealth of inspiration that honoured the environment, embraced globalisation, respected cultural differences and created a unique experience. And, to underscore the approach of building an engaged world community, the concept had been designed in New York, was crafted in Istanbul and debuted in London,” says Principal, Vince Stroop.
Hotel Irus by Stonehill & Taylor
MKV Design is also intrigued by the wider issues. “Loyalty and love are fundamental to us. They influence what we feel about the life we are living and they generate a legacy for the future. Yet, we can be profligate with our loyalties, using up finite resources and rejecting commitment in favour of the latest ‘must do-have-hold’,” explains MKV’s Maria Vafiadis. “Our Sleep Set belonged somewhere within this big canvas, inspired by an article about an island which made us think about the future.”
MKV Design, Photo by Ionnis Andritsopoulos and Beth Crockatt
Structured as a competition while approached as a collaborative exploration, the Sleep Sets attract developers, hotel operators, architects and designers as well as industry consultants and commentators from across Europe and farther afield. The participating companies presented their case before the panel of judges, this year comprising Javier Hortel of Mandarin Oriental Group, Nick de Klerk of Aukett Swanke and Tina Norden of Conran & Partners, in a Sleep Conference session on the second morning. The winner of the 2017 Sleep Set competition is Stonehill Taylor. This year’s Sleep Set was supported by Kohler.
In the year 2018, Sleep, hotel design event, will take place on the 20th and 21st November.
Cover Photo: Hotel Irus by Stonehill & Taylor, Photo by Beth Crockatt