¿How much does design affect a hotel business, and which keys can we use for its mutual benefit? This question was the principal theme of the seminar ‘’Nice designs, better hotel business” presented on 2016, sept 10th by Mónica Muñoz –co-founder of The Innova Room- during BONDdiseñotel 2016. This event took place at Dominican Republic this year, is one of the most important meetings in LATAM between designers, hotel operators and international suppliers. During 3 intense days we had the chance to meet the most renown professionals in the Hospitality industry in LATAM, and to improve international networking. The big amount of individual meetings allowed the assistants to make very effective networking actions.
Besides our seminar, which documentation is included at the end of this post, we also attended to other interesting presentations. First, Rolf W. Schmidt, founder of the Top Hotel Projects, offered a global overview about the hotel industry evolution in the region and which are the future perspectives. The dynamism showed by several countries inside LATAM, offers an optimistic vision of the future short term, and big possibilities for hotel developments in countries like Colombia, México and Chile, among others.
Afterwards Prof. Clark Kellogg, expert in Innovation and Design Thinking and Director of Cal Design Lab and teacher at Haas Business School of Berkeley University (California), introduced the subject: “Why is Design and Innovation on everyone’s mind right now?”. In addition of defining the role of the designer as someone who can make the world a better place with his job, defined the “design thinker” profile using 5 keys:
- Learning by doing.
- Curiosity is above believings.
- Simplicity blooms at complexity’s border.
- There is an opportunity on everything.
- Believe in the process. Do it.
Following, the smells expert Tracy Pepe (from Nose Knows Design) showed a multisensorial exposition related to Smelling Branding for hotels. During the session she stablished the keys between visual and smelling stimulus, which activates the brain sensations, and how this impact contributes to build a memorable experience in the subconscious.
On Saturday we had the presence of Miguel Cuadros, projects director at Wimberly Interiors (WATG group). Miguel introduced the subject “Designing the guests experiences for the future”, a vision of hotel design from last tendencies focused in experience designing perspective. Starting off mega consumption trends like the new simple luxury, or the new consumers values, Miguel exposed several successful cases in hotel innovation. From the growing importance of sustainable aspects (green is the new black), to luxury applications understood as unique experiences maker (The Bentley Suite at The St. Regis).
Goog Design, better Business
Our presentation exposed the relationship between business and design in an hotel project. Starting off from one of these universes, that first they might look far away one from each other, we stablish a 6 keys frame to achieve a successful design and widen business vision:
- Effectiveness: Ability of the design to fulfill the mission for which it was created. First of all related to location, but also to the hotel dimension.
- Efficiency: Ability of being effective, with the least possible effort. Related to business scalability and the operation optimum point in each one of its areas.
- Sustainability: Related to business ability to survive long term (not only with environmental responsibility). Create designs that favor flexibility in all areas.
- Beauty: No design, no matter how effective, efficient and sustainable is, can be considered successful if it’s not beautiful. But beauty is a subjective concept, multisensorial and mutable in time. The creator’s criteria is the only one that can provide the key to generate beautiful environments, that are memorable for the users.
- Coherence: This concept is related to sincerity, shape-function alignment, preexistences integration and cultural context. Summarizing, leveraging declaration and execution. About marketing, with the accomplishment of the promise value. And it is increasingly relevant, in an environment within the user opinion is increasingly important.
- Innovation: Is the innovation only technology? Not necessarily. Innovation is defined as creativity applied to business. Thinking about new solutions, designing them and being capable of execute them in a profitable and attractive mode.
In conclusion, every design decision affects the hotel business, short or large term. However, it’s not possible to build successful designs based only in economical profitability parameters; in hospitality generating an emotion in the customer and designing spaces that favor the encounter between people, in essential.