Adam D. Tihany
Hospitality urban design
Floornature, July 12, 2010
Chromed lamp with Swarovski spectra crystals
Chromed lamp with Swarovski spectra crystals
Hospitality (urban) design

Adam Tihany, world-renowned for his work as an architect in the field of hospitality design, about strategies and approaches to work in this specific sector, with a special focus on the identity of places.

A.F.: Mr. Tihany, could you tell me about the design lounge project?

Adam D. Tihany: Well the design lounge as you can see is a living space designed to be used, not to display. It's divided into three sections... umm... The first section, the orange one, is dedicated to the Veuve Cliquot brand and it constitutes of a bar and a restaurant actually. The orange is the brand color and it is meant to be lived in versus just observed so it's not just a visual communication, it's a full immersion communication. The second, the middle part is a communication center, which is pretty neutral. The third one, which is dedicated more to the zona Tortona is red because that's their logo and is divided into a library and an information center so it's a multipurpose space that, you know, sort of mingles between one another but it's very much for design to be used not just to be observed, which is quite a bit different than most of the exhibitions. So, you know, when you design something that is actually being used, different considerations versus, you know, don't touch just look so that's what we did here.

Joule Hotel, Dallas_Courtesy of Joule Hotel
Joule Hotel, Dallas_Courtesy of Joule Hotel
A.F.: Which are the current trends of hospitality design? Can you give us your own definition of this activity?

Adam D. Tihany: Well hospitality design, as your viewers know, is everything that has to do with restaurants, hotels and, as we say in Italian, luoghi comuni. It's public spaces, spaces, again, being used, frequented by people. In the last, should I say... ten years, the emergence of design trends that started in hotels and restaurants has become a movement. I mean it is so powerful and ... the main - in my opinion, the real reason behind it is that restaurants and hotel lobbies are gathering places. They are choice places for people today - young, old, medium, large, small, extra large - to get together and meet. It's safe, you can eat, you can look at things, you can, you know, be in the center of something different. And as a result, people, the operators give a lot of importance to image because design is everything. Design today is a definition of yourself. I mean, show me where you go and I tell you who you are. So it's an important, you know, moment in the history of, you know, the luoghi, the places, are defined by design not just by service or by quality of food or by quality of experience. It's all about design and how design manages to draw, you know, people who are seeking a different experience. And because of that, it has become extremely popular. The other point, which is very simple and most people don't remember, is that there is a tremendous amount of fantastic design in the residential end of the profession; however, residences are not open to the public. People can't really see and experience it, you know, maybe they see some in a magazine.

Joule during the renovation in Dallas lunar
Joule during the renovation in Dallas lunar
But in a hotel lobby, in a restaurant you can actually go, sit, touch, feel, get some ideas, see some new things, you know. So, you know, it's extremely popular and I think it will continue being so because people are just insatiable about design; everybody wants design. I mean, you know, you look at simple objects of every day use: a regular phone and an iphone. Why would you buy an iphone? It does the same things as a regular phone. You buy it because it's design. Because suddenly if you own it you belong in a group of elite, of people that have good taste or that can make a difference because they're cool. It's a cool object, it's sexy, it's lovely. So, you know, as design enters into all aspects of life today, hospitality is the showcase. It's the showroom where you can actually experience it, not just look at pictures; you can actually live in the middle of it. So, I think that is a tendency or a trend that will continue because until somebody invents another public space where you can go; until maybe somebody designs a fantastic movie theatre that you don't sit in the dark and you can eat and smoke and talk and watch a movie and do all kinds of things. Maybe then people will move to the movie theater to see design but right now they go to hotels and restaurants.

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