Monday, November 22, 2010

Great Interview On Hospitality Direction

This was in NYT.
I love the work of RW and like what they say on design and where it is headed.

The designers Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, the principals of Roman and Williams, are revered around New York for their fabulously quirky Ace Hotel and stunning interior work at the Standard. As they take on a new 30-story hotel on West 57th Street, the duo make some design predictions.

What is good design?
Standefer: A hotel shouldn’t be about marketing. It’s the collection of a particular way of thinking, of curating, of comfort and escape. To create that, we try to find objects and ideas which are familiar yet idiosyncratic. It always come down to what’s personal.

What’s next for hotels?
Standefer: A lot of people are moving
toward not being trendy, toward the idea of layering and longevity instead of redoing everything every five years. The idea behind ‘‘hospitality’’ is the notion of hosting someone in your home, and there is a movement back
to that. This doesn’t necessarily mean being casual and earthy and low-key; a certain amount of decadence is relevant. We believe we’ll see more ‘‘stylistic sustainability,’’ the creation of classics — this is where we think
the industry is going.

What works in a lobby?
Standefer: Experience has to override design; you can’t just have design for design’s sake. The community creates the success of the hotel, and so we try to make communal spaces that are open to everyone. The more generic, the harder it will be for a lobby to succeed.

What is your favorite place to stay and why?
Alesch: We like quirky, messier places, where the staff is sort of winging it but have so much compassion. We love the Kasbah du Toubkal, in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. The experience is very local. It’s the direction design is headed.

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