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“Soft qualities” like empathy, understanding Berlin-based architect Jürgen Mayer H.’s seem to smell things better, your glass of
and compassion are steadily gaining value in heat-sensitive chairs and chaises, which wine is nicer, your senses become more

Western society. Corporate marketing has hilariously display an exact imprint of the alive. It’s about senses.” Heightened, even
long known this, with successful companies sitter’s body in a lighter colour (the material extreme, emotions will always be desirable
paying heed to Saatchi & Saatchi CEO turns lightest where the body is hottest), are when people travel, for release or escape.
Kevin Roberts’s idea that there is some- just the beginning, as are Dutch industrial
thing beyond brands. His “lovemarks” – designer Bas Kools’s chairs that twist But the predominant mood of the future
products that command respect, passion, around their sitters in a kind of hug, or the in hotel design will likely be calmer, kinder
commitment, loyalty, sensuality and a host popular small home appliances and kitchen and more tactile. High touch meets high
of other attributes that are strongly tied tools that sport faces and feet to appear as concept indeed. New interiors might
to the user – represent a revolution in if they have funny personalities. represent even more of a respite from an
understanding the emotional side of why accelerating world than they do now,
people buy (and show why Apple has done dominated by an increased sensitivity and
so well in recent years). Design plays no "Design, stripped to its concern for our fellow man and the earth
small role here. As the movement’s mani- essence, can de defined itself, along with the everlasting search for
festo states, “A poorly designed object
cannot be a lovemark”.
as the human nature to meaning.
The ability to feel and express emotion is one of our most human shape and make our envi- Design scholar John Heskett claims that
characteristics, and, according to more than a few of the world’s The relevance of emotion is even entering ronment in ways without “design, stripped to its essence, can be
top designers, the spaces we live in and objects we use are set to the sciences. According to German precedence in nature, to defined as the human nature to shape and
appeal even more to our inner states of mind in the coming years. biologist Andreas Weber, author of Alles
Fühlt (Everything Feels), even the field of
serve our needs and give make our environment in ways without
precedence in nature, to serve our needs
biology is about to undergo a paradigm meaning to our lives." and give meaning to our lives.” In an age of
shift, as it considers growing proof that JOHN HESKETT
great prosperity coupled with the world-as-
evolution has had far more to do with an we-know-it on the edge, looking for that
organism’s emotional states than with the meaning becomes more important, even if
Darwinian idea that beings are essentially it means finding it in a kitchen appliance or
small machines that evolve only for a resort space whose space is perfectly in
efficiency’s sake. In the not-so-distant future, extrapolations sync with both its surroundings and the
on these technologies will create interiors feelings of the people in it. _«
So – mechanism or mood? The cool, that can “perceive” and personally interact
superfunctional “modern hotel” aesthetic is with their users’ states of mind – not on
already falling by the wayside and is set to command but by measuring heartbeats,
continue doing so. As recently as ten years breathing rates or brainwave frequency, and
ago, many would have scoffed at the idea of consequently dimming or brightening the
ambient music, programmed, indirect lights or infusing the air with a calming or
lighting or the soft whiff of an aromathera- invigorating fragrance.
py-based scent in a hotel or public space.
(Or they at least preferred the ubiquitous And what emotions will future travellers
minimalism and utter efficiency of the look to experience? It could be the heady
1990s to such “esoteric” stimuli.) Now, euphoria of an innovative, almost sculptural
however, it is far more common to engineer space such as Ron Arad’s Duomo in Rimini,
spaces not only to appeal to all senses and Italy (see page 290), taken to another level,
create ambience but also (or even) to or the lusty dusk of Vincenzo de Cotiis’s
generate deeper mood shifts. What is more, Hotel Straf in Milan (see page 270) times
soon spaces not only will create well-being, ten. Says Gerard Glintmeijer of Amster-
but will react, and consequently interact, dam-based design team FG stijl: “Some-
with the people occupying them. times you go into an environment and you

New York-based, Egyptian-born
Karim Rashid is one of the most prolific
and eloquent designers of the modern era.
His design oeuvre ranges from quirky small
appliances to mind-bogglingly flashy hotels, like
the Semiramis in Athens, Greece. The Semiramis
(see page 238) is a prime example of Rashid’s
exuberant signature style.

Mankind will be more sensible and

sensitive about its surroundings in
the next 15 years. Respect, tolerance

and solidarity will influence the way
obj ects, spaces and technology are

Carlos Couturier is one of the four founding members
(the others are brothers Jaime, Moises and Rafael People will want comfort but peace
Micha) of Mexico’s groundbreaking hotel group
Grupo Habita. The group’s madly innovative
properties Condesa df, Habita, Básico, Azúcar
of mind AS WELL. Wealth, luxury but
and La Purificadora have seismically shifted
Mexican hospitality’s landscape. basic experiences. Independence.
(See hotels on pages 066-092.)
Hubs for social interaction. Isolation.
The independent, isolated individual
will demand beauty. Design will have
to provide this beauty. Search for
perfection will rule the next 15 years.

As long as there is world peace, the
coming 15 years will be the most crea-
tive and innovative in human history.

Armin Fischer is the founder and director of Augsburg,
Germany-based 3meta, an interior design firm whose
vision has come to fruition in private residences,
restaurants, public spaces and hotels like Hamburg’s
25hours Hotel (see page 208).


Architect and designer Colin Seah is founder and
design director of the Singapore-based Ministry of
Design, which was instrumental in creating the
interiors for Singapore’s New Majestic Hotel
(see page 630), an eclectic property whose look and
experience relies heavily on local influences and back-
stories. The multi-award-winning Ministry’s mission
is to “disturb, question and redefine the fundamental
elements of Space, Ritual and Perception.”


What kind of stories do you think future design will tell?
That of individuality and a sense of space. We are all individuals. I like the idea of walking into
a room and being able to simply say “could you change this colour to purple for me?”
Technology will give us a lot of great benefits – but technology has to stay human. When you’re
a guest in a hotel you don’t want to have to be taught to use everything!

How will technology change design?
Design has to be open to technological advances. It’s through computers that amazing forms
of architecture are possible; with them, you can build dreams and fluid forms. It’s even
FG stijl is an Amsterdam-based design studio possible to use natural materials in a different way.
headed by Colin Finnegan and Gerard
Glintmeijer. For the past 12 years, the duo
has created innovative interiors for shops, What does the future mean to you, as designers?
offices, restaurants and hotels such as You have to be flexible: to go into the future and keep the concept, but change with time.
Do & Co in Vienna (see page 126) and The When you open a restaurant or hotel, techniques change, entertainment changes, ideas of
Dominican in Brussels (see page 138).
comfort change. We always try design an interior that you can add on to – there’s a degree of
flexibility. In design you have to be ready for the future.

Will people still travel at all?
The travel issue will be solved within 15 to 20 years – people will travel more and more.
Mankind has always solved its greatest problems so far!

What will the world look like then?
We foresee fluid cities. Like in the Middle Ages, with small alleyways and everything curving
in a naturalistic way. Things were never in a straight line. The environment let people walk.
The future will perhaps return to the speed of walking. We recently saw a model for an
amazing Chinese city for three million people, but everything was within a 15-minute walk.
Hopefully people would build new cities, anyway! We keep making the mistake of thinking we
have the best, greatest ideas and tearing down parts of old cities. Or we build our greatest
ideas next door to the old ones. We’ve made this mistake very often.