International Women’s Day is both a day of celebration and a day of challenge. And the call to action for 2022 is indeed to challenge â and break â stereotypes. Here has hotel designswe are steering conversations towards a more inclusive path at all levels, and interestingly, inclusivity, diversity and difference are in many ways what drives the hotel design industry forward as models of reception change and evolve.
By flying the flag on International Women’s Day, we recognize the contributions of some of the most remarkable women in the hospitality industry who have made their mark from moodboards to boardrooms with work that continues to ensure women make both an integral and inspiring part of the industry.
In the words of legendary designer Ilse Crawford, “we must honor our heroines because unless they are visible, we will not foster the next generation of female designers.”
So, in the spirit of honoring our heroines, here’s our list of industry influencers whose work we believe contributes to the spirit of #BreakTheBias.
Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partner and current Interior Designer of the Year
Tina Norden is a rare breed when it comes to hospitality and hospitality design. Throughout the pandemic, Norden has been a consistent and key voice in the industry, speaking as a leading interior designer and architect at various online events on topics such as emerging trends in interior design, the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality industry, inclusive design and quality craftsmanship. Throughout this year, the interior designer and architect has continued to mentor the more junior members of her team and has generally kept up the momentum and positive vibes while working and completing large-scale projects remotely. . It was therefore only natural that the judges of the Brit List Awards 2021 collectively award him the prestigious title of Interior Designer of the Year.
Marie Soliman, co-founder, Bergman Design House
Anyone who works or has worked with Marie Soliman will agree that the interior designer with 16 years of experience under her belt is a creative breath of fresh air. A passionate visual artist and designer, Soliman’s keen eye for the timeless and the well-crafted has guided her on journeys around the world leading globally acclaimed projects such as BXR London, We11, The other House hotel in London , NOR hotel Norway and Eagle Lodge in Botswana, among others. One of his latest projects, Laowai, a hidden hospitality concept in Vancouver’s Chinatown, is his first North American venture, with another set to be completed later this year in New York.
The designer’s vision stems from its belief in the vital spark of adventurous souls willing to take risks and try and test new ideas in the service of creating fabulous and engaging experiences. His goal is always to put forward new ideas, while reveling â without fear â in the chaos of creation.
Rachel Hoolahan, Architect, Orms
Hoolahan is an architect at the London practice Elms, where, by taking on the role of sustainability coordinator, she has become a driving force in the process of change within the architecture industry and her work and research has a direct impact on design practice such as that we know her. Orms has always championed the concepts of sustainability in the design process made visible in projects like The Standard in London. By working within this framework, Hoolahan was able to push the boundaries of sustainability, looking at how to integrate it into the design process rather than being seen as an add-on. Key to his research is the importance of both access and collaboration, as sustainability in our built environment is not practice specific, but needs to be supported by the industry as a whole. to have a significant impact. In 2021, she received the AJ100 Sustainability Champion Award for her work in not only putting the issue on the design and architecture agenda, but, together with colleagues at Orms, finding ways to embed it in practice. design.
Irene Kronenburg, Co-Founder, Barronwitz + Kronenburg
Irene Kronenburg is half the energy that makes up the iconic Baranowitz and Kronenberg team. As a designer, she has always championed individuality and storytelling through her designs. Long before the hospitality and hotel design industry talked about the âlocal narrativeâ of a place, Kronenberg used it as a cornerstone of his creativity. She never had a formulaic approach, and each project is unique and looked at with fresh eyes, bringing something new to the design table. A clear example of this approach is illustrated by the concepts that the designer delivered for W Hotels in Amsterdam and Ibiza – one brand, two very different voices. Her eclectic approach has led her to break design rules while creating new stories, the only constant being the underlying design philosophy that “there is no formula…everything we do is custom made and sewn by hand”.
Geraldine Dohogne, Founder, Beyond Design
Having been highly commended in the Interior Designer of the Year category for a second consecutive year, Dohogne’s design approach resonates clearly. Having started his career in operations at Hotel in Zannier, and although she had no formal training in design, her innate talent was quick to manifest and express itself in a range of projects. Her work shows a depth of design, an understanding of the importance of place and, above all, a sensitivity to the environment in which a project is placed. She more recently created her own studio, Beyond Designwhere she continues to be true to her vision of design focused on authenticity, while championing a thoughtful and carefully crafted approach to hotel design.
With a background in public relations, Konstantinidou has forged a strong brand identity for Hotels and Resorts in Kanava, a luxury hotel and hospitality brand with roots in the Greek island of Santorini. With a strong sense of location and place, Kanava continues to make inroads into the Greek luxury market, but most importantly, in a way that takes a very thoughtful approach to location and with an understanding and sensitivity to local tissue. A champion of slow, mindful travel, she has integrated the Cycladic way of life into her designs while considering the need to connect, engage with communities, and travel with purpose. In his own words: âWe create projects whose essence is to be sustainable, heartfelt and useful places for us and travelers around the world, and we insist on creating awareness for a better kind of travel. Â»
Naomi Heaton, founder of The Other House
As CEO of The Other House, Heaton has a background in private rental which has clearly informed the concept driven by the brand as it strives to be both disruptive and innovative in the hospitality industry. The ethos behind The other house began a revolutionary change in the model of hospitality that is slowly becoming more mainstream. Heaton critically examined the whole concept of flexibility of space and length of stay, and what ensued was the blurring of boundaries between home, hotel and club of members. The brand has also taken up the challenge of balancing technology / personal touch with a clear vision of how to integrate the two into a very modern living experience. As the first hotel is about to open in London, we can’t wait to see Heaton continue to defy hospitality conventions.
Interior designer, Mary Katrantzou
Greek fashion and textile designer Katrantzou recently collaborated with Villeroy & Boch on the exciting VICTORIAN tile design project – showcasing the quicksand in the design world where boundaries are there to be broken. After being dubbed the “print queen” in the fashion industry, it was only a matter of time before she put paint to paper and carried her design story on an entirely different surface. On her website, she describes her world as feminine, innovative, bold and artistic, all of which is reflected in the tile collection which combines strong graphic qualities with elements of nostalgia. As an image-driven designer, her work highlights the potential for increasingly symbiotic relationships between disciplines.
Sonia Cheng, CEO, Rosewood Hotels
Sonia Cheng is notable for several reasons, not only is she the CEO of Rosewood Hotel Group, which in itself has earned a reputation for its “A Sense of Place” narrative approach to hotel supply and design, but it did so just over a decade ago at the age 30 years old. His vision has been central to the growth of the family brand, based on a clear understanding of what a millennial traveler is looking for in the realm of luxury experience, while ensuring that the local history and culture of the place are at the heart of every Rosewood property story. With an impressive catalog of reimagined legendary hotels and creating new ones, the company under his leadership has an ambitious pipeline to drive it forward over the next decade, which reads like a list of future travel hotspots.
While it is clear that the glass ceiling, although well designed, is still in place in the hospitality industry, it is important to recognize the significant progress made by these women, and so many others, towards true democracy. and scene of equal hospitality that is unbiased.
Happy International Women’s Day!
Main image credit: Hotel Designs