Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Radical Innovation: What’s trending in 2014?

The toughest task that the Radical Innovation jury has to tackle each year is the narrowing down of the outstanding pool of concepts and selection of finalists. What stands out as refreshingly different? What can be implemented right away? What will stir conversations when presented at HD Expo in May?

We received almost 100 entries this year, a significant increase from the 75 entries in 2013. And while we witnessed submissions spanning over 21 countries last year, we celebrated 28 different countries this year.

Of the trends discussed amongst the jury members present (John Hardy, CEO and founder of The John Hardy Group; Claude Amar, president of The John Hardy Group International; Michael Medzigian, chairman/managing partner of Watermark Capital Partners; Jena Thornton, managing director of Eagle Rock Ventures; Simon Turner, president of global development at Starwood Hotels; James Woods, president and COO of The Bowls), the ones that reigned the conversations were co-working spaces, the utilization of spaces not conventionally used for hospitality and enabling new hotel concepts to solve environmental problems.

Saving the earth, one hotel at a time

Maya Boutique Hotel: Built entirely using straw bales, this efficient insulating material doesn’t require conventional heating or air-conditioning in the hotel.

Green Air Hotel: This hotel has indoor green lungs to create replenish the air and solve the hazardous air pollution crisis in China

Space-strapped urban centers

Banding the Skyline: To overcome the competition for high-rise building space, this top-floor-extension-hotel aims to solve the problem via vertical building. 

Urbanauts: A street loft that takes over empty ground floor shops in urban centers, offering a locally refreshing experience for the urban traveller.

S_LOT: Short for “small lots”, this vertical-parking modular system allows each guest to easily modify their experience using interchangeable amenities.

Hestia: Modular pod-units on riverways where each guest can experience can tailor his or her own experience. 

Sky Lofts on the Boardwalk: Upcycling abandoned monorail structures into elevated boardwalks with cafes and short-term accommodation.

The Container Hotel: An apart’hotel modular system allows guests to personalize their preferences (e.g. favorite scents, food allergies or taxi service) through a smartphone application.

Work-play lifestyle

1.5 Place: Bridging the gap between work and play in hospitality, this co-working hotel space integrates the needs of the modern-day working professional/traveler.

Future of 3D printing

Hotel 2020: A hotel that’s furnished with 3D-printed interiors to increase the emotional impact of design.

Stay tuned to find out which project the judges picked as the professional finalists and student winner. Results will be revealed next week!