Carr’s newly appointed associate director discusses how to foster the intangible, experiential dimension of hospitality design. It starts with a personal touch and a connection to place.
January 9th, 2023
Over my 20 years of experience as an interior designer, I’ve honed my process to achieving ‘the feel’. The invisible but wholly essential element in a project that is inextricably linked to a its success. But what makes up ‘the feel’, you might ask?
Regardless of the scale I might be working across – from national and international hotel brands right through to boutique hotel experiences – I strive for a design approach that is driven by place. This is what excites me as a designer. Every project is based on connection to place and a degree of gut feeling.
Importantly, however, creating a connected hotel isn’t predicated on a formula. For me, this is where the joy lies – something I’m excited to continue in my new role as associate director at Carr. I’ll be building upon the ground-breaking hospitality projects that the studio is renowned for such as Jackalope Hotel and United Places.
Getting to know our clients and what makes them tick is an essential part of this process. This means balancing the bottom line against uncovering the project’s essence. By deeply understanding what our clients need, an honest and strong vision can be established.
We’ve all been to hotels that don’t hit the fundamentals of connected design. A memorable hospitality experience is built upon a captivating story of brand and place. I look to craft engaging narratives to shape an experience, informed by a strong vision guiding the project from inception to completion.
I’m curious about the spaces people regularly gravitate to – the nook, the corner table – and aim to interpret these creature comforts throughout a space by truly understanding their effects on people.
Why do we frequent some places more than others? What makes a space one you want to return to? The answers to these are the layers I look to position within every hospitality project.
Underpinning everything is the principle of designing spaces that work. The envelope of every project is a delicate balance between design practicalities and beauty. From the moment you arrive to the moment you depart, the guest experience should be cohesive and memorable.
I’m always highly conscious of the impact hospitality design has on the broader community and prioritise fostering these relationships. A hotel’s soul is the reflection of the nuances and charm that begin within the space and are echoed beyond the walls of the hotel.
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