Tristan Auer is a prevailing force in the interior design world: from his early days with Christian Liaigre and Philippe Starckto becoming his own Signature. Currently the Principal of Wilson’s first Haute Couture Design Studio, Atelier Tristan Auer, Wilson Associates Paris, Tristan is an entrepreneur and interior architect specializing in luxury hospitality brands, high-end private residences and bespoke furniture design. Tristan’s signature panache can be found across the globe. With more than 20 years experience working in luxury, Tristan has designed for names like Cartier, Chanel and Hermes, a number of hotel brands and celebrities. Notable projects include Rosewood Hotel de Crillon Paris and Carlton Hotel Cannes. Located on 28 Boulevard Malesherbes, one of the most luxurious areas in Paris, the Atelier works on some of the most exclusive projects. Launched in September 2015, Atelier Tristan Auer, Wilson Associates Paris sits at the cutting-edge of contemporary creative culture. Currently finalising high end hospitality projects in the Middle East, Asia and Europe, the Atelier has most notably completed a private villa in the Parisian suburb of Saint Cloud.
Jeffrey Beers is Founder and CEO of Jeffrey Beers International (JBI). Beers has built a stellar career on creating distinctive and visionary spaces recognized for their lasting appeal. While an architecture student at the Rhode Island School of Design, Jeffrey Beers studied with renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. After graduating, Beers traveled to Brazil on a Fulbright scholarship with a goal of investigating how the arts and architecture could have a more symbiotic relationship. In Brazil, he worked in the office of legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer. Upon returning to New York, Beers accepted a position as a Project Architect with I.M. Pei & Partners, where he managed hotel and entertainment properties throughout the world. In 1986, he founded his own firm, Jeffrey Beers International.
Since then, the award-winning studio has received recognition for its outstanding hospitality design as well as Beers’ ability to unite artistry and strategy to createhighly successful spaces, from hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs to retail outlets, residences, and offices. Beers is the recipient of four Gold Key Awards for design excellence, Contract magazine’s Interior Design Award, Interior Design’s “Best of Year” finalist Design Award, and was inducted into Hospitality Design’s Platinum Circle in 2000. In 2016, Jeffrey Beers was named one of New York Spaces “Top 50 Designers” and a Hospitality Design Platinum Circle Honoree and “Visionary Award” recipient.
A graduate of Interior Architecture, Hamish joined Stonemartin PLC, a property development company specialising in building and running state of the art serviced offices, managing such clients as Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank amongst other blue chip companies.
Hamish then co -founded Hamish Benjamin, completing a large number of residential projects in prime central London. Hamish then joined 1508 London at its infancy.
His ability to understand every facet of the design sphere means he is perfectly placed to help aid clients through their experience at 1508 London. His inherent understanding of the market means he is ideally placed as sales and marketing director to not only spear head 1508 London’s new business but to grow the company into a truly international brand.
Helen works within a team that specialises in inspiring and supporting clients in understanding and improving their customer (and colleague) experiences. Starting with understanding the desired behaviours that the client would like to see, Helen visualises from the stakeholder, employee and customer perspective what the drivers and barriers are to creating the ideal customer experience.
Helen interprets the insight gathered from both qualitative and quantitative methods into engaging output to ensure they are easily communicable around the business. Her team use videos, design-led journey maps and facilitate immersive and action focussed workshops to take their insight into the hearts and minds of their clients and colleagues. Using knowledge and expertise in Behavioural Science they stimulate clients to think about what interventions can be created to drive the desired behaviour.
Helen works across sectors including travel, transport, hotel, leisure, retail, finance and B2B to excite, engage and inspire them on designing the best in class customer and colleague experiences.
Philip has gained extensive experience as both an operator and a professional adviser, and began his hotel career at Trusthouse Forte, where he held senior operational roles in hotels in London and was seconded to a hotel in Morocco.
Professional positions have included Managing Consultant at PKF Hotels London in the 1990’s, Senior Manager at KPMG and a Partner of Cushman & Wakefield LLP in London. Philip has also run his own consultancy practice in Cyprus, working extensively in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. During his rich and varied career, Philip was also a founding director of a European hotel operator specialising in small luxury hotels.
In 2011, Philip and his fellow partners established Whitebridge Hospitality Limited, a specialist advisor for investors, developers and operators in the hospitality industry around the globe. During his career, Philip has worked with a wide variety of international operators, multinational institutions, governments and wealthy individuals around the world.
Hannah studied Interior Design at Glasgow School of Art and Art & Design at Oxford Brookes University. Hannah joined Universal Design Studio in 2003 and has co-directed the practice since 2008.
Universal is a multi-disciplinary team of architects, interior designers and product designers that specialise in creating immersive and engaging spaces for leading global brands and institutions.
Hannah has most recently been involved in interiors projects for British Airways, Fortnum & Mason, Frieze Art Fair, Selfridges and At Six hotel in Stockholm.
Hannah regularly lectures on retail interiors at the University of the Arts London and Oxford Brookes University. Universal was founded in London in 2001 by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, to augment their award-winning product and furniture design folio.
James Chappell is the Global Business Director of Horwath HTL, the worlds oldest and largest Hospitality Consulting Brand and is responsible for 50 offices in 39 countries around the world.
Horwath HTL is famous for their expertise in the hospitality sector having written the first uniform standard of accounts, and for having the most experienced local experts in the business.
Originally from the world of advertising, James started in the hotel business in the best possible way, by accident, and has never left. James did a three-year management trainee course at the famous boutique hotel, Lydmar, in Stockholm before leaving to join consulting firm Overlook Hospitality Management with a brief to develop new products for the industry.
One of these became The Bench, which revolutionised the way performance data was collected and used in hotels. James was Managing Director of The Bench for five years before becoming Managing Director of STR Global, the company formed by the merger of The Bench, Deloitte’s HotelBenchmark and Smith Travel Research.
A regular speaker at conferences and on television, James has appeared on CNN, The BBC, Bloomberg and others talking about the industry.
Kate is a seasoned branding and marketing professional with 17 years’ industry experience spanning sectors from FMCG to automotive, tech start-ups to financial services, luxury goods to hospitality.
Kate began her career at agency stalwarts Publicis and Ogilvy & Mather, leading integrated strategy, business and creative teams to deliver global advertising campaigns for brands such as Ford Motor Company and Unilever. It was here that she discovered her passion for creating relevant, differentiated and enduring brand identities, an interest which she developed working as Managing Director of the London office of Quirk eMarketing, then Africa’s largest digital marketing agency network.
After starting a family, Kate spent several years as an independent branding and marketing consultant. It was working in this capacity with Drake & Morgan Bar & Restaurant Group that piqued Kate's interest in the potential to imbed thorough brand thinking and identity into the hospitality sector; the move to G.A (renowned for their architectural and interior design for luxury hotels and residential developments) to head up their Brand Design team in London was a natural progression.
G.A Brand Design’s portfolio of work in the hospitality sector ranges from graphics and signage systems for Renaissance Hangzhou to the creation of a new brand identity for Millennium Hotels and Resorts brand M Social; though different in content, every project supports Kate’s belief that in today's 'purpose economy' it is no longer enough for a brand to stand for something, they need to stand up for something. When it comes to brand design, this should always be the starting point if the hospitality industry wants to create identities that will truly resonate with its intended audience.
Ilse Crawford is a designer, academic and creative director with a simple mission to put human needs and desires at the centre of all that she does. As founder of Studioilse, together with her multi-disciplinary, London-based team, she brings her philosophy to life. This means creating environments where humans feel comfortable; public spaces that make people feel at home and homes that are habitable and make sense for the people who live in them. It means designing furniture and products that support and enhance human behaviour and actions in everyday life. It means restoring the human balance in brands and businesses that have lost their way. As founder of the department of Man and Wellbeing at the Design Academy Eindhoven, her mission extends to nurturing a new generation of students to always question why and how their work improves the reality of life.
Tinker, tailor, soldier...hotel & restaurant guy...
Innovation and creativity are the common threads that weave together Quentin Danté’s diverse experience. In a career that spans forty-plus years, he has worked in virtually every aspect of the hospitality business.
Travelling to far-off places from an early age, Danté quickly gained an appreciation for fine food, wine and design, sowing the seeds for his future passions and paving the way to a successful career in restaurants and hotel design.
Throughout the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s he was engaged with successful culinary assignments in France, Italy, Japan, Spain, Mexico and China and making a name for himself in the nightlife and entertainment arenas with such high-profile clubs as Tunnel in New York, Stock Exchange in Los Angeles, Diana’s in Bangkok and Turia in Tokyo.
Taking a ten-year hiatus from the world of restaurants, to found an internet and biotech start-up incubator, his intense, lifelong passion for food and design ultimately led him back to his first love, donning the apron again in Spring 2005 with the opening of critically acclaimed, contemporary Chinese restaurant, Yumcha, in New York.
With a vast and varied experience -Danté is trained as a cook, baker, ‘wine guy’ and holds certification as a mixologist from Harvard University –he’s able to bring to clients a unique understanding of the special needs of the hospitality industry -from cultural and geographic considerations to budgetary restrictions and challenging design scenarios.
Danté’s endeavours, their partners and chefs have all been profiled extensively in the media and have earned countless industry accolades and awards for their designs, menus and service, including a host of Michelin stars.
Nicholas de Klerk is an architect and associate in Aukett Swanke’s London Studio. His focus is primarily on hotels, both in the UK and internationally, but has experience in a wide range of different building types, including retail,offices,museums and galleries. In 2016 he led the design of the practice’s 2016 Sleep Set concept room, and is currently working on a number of feasibility and concept studies for new London hotel projects. He also writes about architecture and design for a number of UK design and trade titles, including the Architect’s Journal, Building Design, the Real Review and the Sleep Event.
A long-term contributor to Wallpaper*, Condé Nast Traveller and a variety of trade publications Guy is the Editor-at-Large of specialist hotel design magazine Sleeper, our media sponsor.
Guy curates and moderates the conference element for a variety of other global events such as HI Design EMEA and Asia, 100% Design, Maison et Objet, HED Expo Shanghai, the Stockholm Furniture Fair and UBM’s May Design Series. He also presents and moderates for corporate businesses (CitizenM, Pandox, Design Hotels, Bang & Olufsen, Villeroy & Boch, Philips, Hansgrohe) and at other events (European Hotel Design Awards, Asian Hotel Design Awards, PURE, LE Miami).
Born and raised in Zimbabwe and having lived in both London and Munich, Guy now works from Brussels. In a previous life he was the UK Managing Director for Design Hotels™.
Daniel has spent his entire working life in the furniture and interiors industry and has worked on hotel projects in more than 40 countries around the world. Daniel continues to find new and interesting locations for the Benjamin West team to provide its services, alongside helping clients source every style of product imaginable, including recent purchases of a Dr Who tardis and even the occasional combined-animal taxidermy.
Daniel has been a judge on the European Hotel Design Awards panel, organises the annual Sleep Conference Round Table event and regularly contributes articles for a number of trade publications. He regularly speaks on panels at investor and design conferences, as well as undertaking teaching assignments at two London schools and the Ecole Hôtelière in Lausanne. Daniel was one of the UK’s first electric car owners more than a decade ago, though it’s more likely that you’ll see him travelling around London with his Italian Spinone dog Stella, as she accompanies him to every meeting.
An acknowledged early pioneer and disrupter in the global travel and tourism industry with more than 20 years of Thought Leadership experience in all areas of Sustainable/Eco/Geo/Organic Agri/ Travel & Tourism & Responsible Spa & Wellness.
A cultivator of influencing and instigating positive change thru thought provoking positive ideas – then turning ideas into successful reality by highlighting the symbiosis between People Capital, Natural Capital, Wellbeing Capital & Economic Capital in ways where each is equally valued, measured and benefit.
Motti is co-founder of Rythms House (established in 2010) – Turn Key Responsible Luxury and Design For Wellbeing project management specialists and natural capitalists targeting the hospitality, spa, wellness and healthcare sectors. A boutique enterprise dedicated to conceptualizing, guiding, transforming and codifying hybrid living ideas into unique, authentic and naturally profitable wellbeing and lifestyle enhancing programs in 25/7 urban and nature based destinations.
Motti is also co founder and Chief Imagineer of “Rythms by Design” – a first-of-its-kind in the UK and Europe boutique Responsible Sourcing and Procurement Management agency focusing on providing individualized solutions and unsurpassed service in all areas of BD&E, ID&E, FF&E and OS&E targeting the luxury hospitality, yacht, spa and wellness sectors.
Motti has an expansive and enviable global portfolio which spans across a diverse range of sectors including: Private Sector including: Rosewood Hotels and Resorts; Aman Resorts and Spas; Six Senses Resorts and Spas; The Soneva Group; The Connaught Hotel, London (part of the Maybourne Hotel Group); The Savoy Hotel, London; Radisson Edwardian Blu hotels and Spas; Starwood Hotels and Resorts; Andaz (brand of Hyatt hotels and Resorts); InterContinental Hotels and Resorts; Buddhattitude Spas (division of George V Eatertainment, Paris, Chateau La Coste, Provence, France) and Aveda – a division of Estee Lauder; Destinations including Mexico, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Thailand and France; Cities including Cape Town, Toronto, Vancouver, Jerusalem and UN Organizations including UNESCO World Heritage Center, Paris; IUCN; ICLEI; UN Habitat and EU Eco label - a program of the European Commission, Brussels.
Motti is married and enjoys open and wild water swimming, sea kayaking, cycling, the cinema, and experiencing new cultures. He is curious about Slow Food, Wabi Sabi, Deep Ecology and Forest Bathing (experiencing the silence of natural surroundings).
Ido Garini is the founder and creative director of Studio Appétit. He is renowned world wide as a pioneer in the integration of culinary art and the act of eating within the contemporary world of design, hospitality and marketing. Ido works with hotels, restaurants and other F&B outlets as a creative consultant and art director on the creation of exciting new concepts both in new build and even more within existing operations. As a multidisciplinary designer and chef, he aspires to break the boundaries of consumer experience, and explore new ways to connect people with themselves, others, and with brands. For that purpose he builds multifaceted platforms that integrate products, objects, edibles, space, taste and image. He constantly looks for new ways to extend brand experience by creating holistic stories, and enhancing them with multi sensory triggers.
Studio Appétit is a multidisciplinary experiential design studio & concept house established in NYC and later relocated to Europe. It has produced a broad collection of projects, objects, installations and edible adventures. It is guided by a new way of thinking about design, its purpose and its manifestation, based on a firm understanding that in today's fast paced, high thrill, ever-changing world, creating a lasting impact requires more sophisticated and interdisciplinary experiences. The studio combines many aspects of traditional design with out of the box takes about eating and food design, alongside bespoke creations & culinary content. It works closely with the hospitality industry and chefs on creating innovative and intricate guest experiences. The studio translates brand identity into couture F&B, unique and exciting new dining concepts, edible products, innovative room service schemes, and brand enhancers such as tailored food installations and events. The studio works with mega design brands, museums, the academia and other institutions, galleries, creative & PR agencies, manufacturers and multinational corporations such as IKEA, Rosewood London, Laufen and V&A Museum to name a few.
Ms. Hazelton recently joined Kerzner International and will be responsible for the growth of the Atlantis and One & Only brands in Europe and the Americas.
As a seasoned hotel investment and development executive, her experience includes all aspects of hotel investment including banking, asset management, finance, development, feasibility and investment analysis. Most recently she was the Managing Director at Three Points Advisory, a boutique advisory firm that focuses on hotel development and investments. Clients of Three Points Advisory include Clivedale, Cycas Hospitality, Colony Capital and a high profile American celebrity with real estate interests in France.
Other previous experience includes Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts as Vice President of Development for Europe, a founding principal of Taylor Global Advisors, a hotel investment related advisory firm, VP of Development at Hilton Hotels in London; ten years at Calyon/Credit Lyonnais as a lender to the hospitality industry in New York and London; Acquisitions and asset management at Olympus Real Estate, a PE fund with hotel interest; ITT Sheraton in development and owner relations; PKF in hotel advisory services and she started her career at the Westin Century Plaza Hotel in the management training program. She has degrees in Hotel and Business Administration from Washington State University.
She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, a Director of the International Hotel Investment Council (IHIC), a member of Urban Land Institute (“ULI”) and a past Vice Chair of ULI’s European Hotel & Resort Council. Her credentials also include a visiting professorship at Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne.
Born and raised in Seattle Washington, Jan is an avid tennis player and skier, enjoys traveling, cooking, wining and dining and has a keen interest in health and fitness. She is actively involved with the Women for Women International organization and a member of their Leadership Circle.
Javier Hortal is Mandarin Oriental’s Director of Technical Services for EMEA, leadingthe group’s luxury hotel projects and major renovationsin the region.
A passionate advocate of design and its role in delivering extraordinary luxury experiences, Javier is responsible for ensuring thatevery project brings together sophistication,sense of place, flawless quality and trend-setting innovation.Mandarin Oriental’srecent projectsin EMEAincluding London, Paris, Bodrum, Marrakechand Barcelonahave earned widespread recognition including several wins atthe European Hotel Design Awards.
An experienced judge on design, a Spanish national and UK architect, Javier joined Mandarin Oriental in 2008 from global architectural practice RTKL, where he was head of hospitality EMEA at the group’s London headquarters.
Eric Jafari is the Managing Director for SACO Property Group, the Development Division of SACO the Serviced Apartment Company, an Oaktree Principal Group company and Creator of Locke, SACO's new lifestyle aparthotel brand.
Prior to joining SACO, Eric Jafari was Co-Founder and Managing Director to NoHo Hotel Group, Urban Villa and Union Hanover Securities. Mr. Jafari has been nominated as 2013 PROP’s Young Property Person of the Year, requested as a panelist/industry expert on BBC Business Daily and key note speaker/moderator/panelist for 2011/2012/2013 IMN's European Real Estate Opportunity & Private Fund Investing Forum, Serviced Apartment Summit, European Hotel Investment Conference and the British Global Real Estate Institute (GRI). Eric earned his business degree from California Polytechnic SLO with a double concentration in international management and marketing.
Eric currently resides in London, United Kingdom.
A founding member of the Campbell GRAY Hotels team. Following Hotel Management school in Switzerland received his hotel training and operational experience in various hotels in Europe, including Lucerne and London. Joined One Aldwych in London for the opening in July 1998 in Operations and subsequently took the role as Development Coordinator for Campbell GRAY Hotels as the group expanded. In 2005 assumed the role of Development Director for Campbell GRAY Hotels and is responsible for implementing the growth strategy for the company as well as the development and master planning of all projects.
The Swedish design partnership Claesson Koivisto Rune was founded in 1995 as an architectural office but is, in the classic Scandinavian way multi-disciplinary, which means that they practise both architecture and design. On the list of completed architectural projects are: the recently opened Sfera Building culture house in Kyoto, the Swedish Ambassador’s residence in Berlin, Ingegerd Råman house and studio, Kjell A Nordström residence, Sony Music headquarters Stockholm, One Happy Cloud restaurant, Gucci Stockholm, Louis Vuitton Stockholm, Scandinavian Airlines Euroshop, Asplund shop. Current projects include several private houses in Sweden and three hotels in Norway. Furniture designs by Mårten Claesson, Eero Koivisto and Ola Rune are produced by companies such as Arflex, Artifort, Asplund, Boffi, Capdell, Cappellini, Casamania, David design, Dux, Fontana Arte, Kasthall, Living Divani, Muuto, Nikari, Offecct, Paola Lenti, Smaller Objects, Studio TK, Tacchini, Wästberg, among others
Eero Koivisto has held the position as artistic leader at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. He is also a lecturer in the field of architecture and design.
Florian Kollenz has been part of the 25hours world since 2014, and works hard on the international growth of the group. Prior to his role with 25hours, Florian was a Senior Consultant with PKF hotelexperts in Vienna where he oversaw the fields of corporate finance and operator selection. Before that, Florian worked several years for the Austrian Hotel and Tourism Bank after graduating from the University of Applied Sciences in Vienna.
Jane Lees is a Senior Director of CBRE Hotels heading the Hotels Valuation team. She has responsibility for the team covering the EMEA region, currently comprising approximately 38 people. In her current role, Jane has led and been involved with a number of high profile single asset and portfolio valuations including ADIA, Mint, Limerick, Merlin, and LRG portfolios. The Hotels valuation team has developed significantly over the last 3 to 4 years. The team is responsible for a number of cross border valuation instructions, acting for clients including Invesco, FDM, Host Hotels & Resorts and Blackstone. Jane is on the board of CBRE Hotels and her role includes the development and implementation of the team’s training programme. This encompasses providing training for all levels – from on boarding new recruits through to senior team development.
Candice Madrid-Dahlqvist, Design Director of Millkeeper Studio in Stockholm, has 18 years’ experience at leading agencies across the US and Europe. Some clients include Adidas, Pepsi, Diet Coke, Guinness, Brooklyn Brewery, Chrysler, Jeep, Sony, Tribeca Film, Columbia Records and IKEA.
Candice recently led the design and branding of Nordic Choice Hotels’ major developments At Six and Hobo –two landmark lifestyle hotels that opened in 2017 in the heart of Stockholm.
Candice’s previous work for Nike Training Club earned over 1 million new members for the sport brand one month after launch. Its quick success led to celeb athlete training programs and global training events. As a result NTC became the de facto driving force behind Nike Training. Candice’s work won in Cannes Lions and Clio, and was also named Best of 2011 by the Wall Street Journal and Apple.
Catherine Martin is Editor of Sleeper, the leading magazine for hotel design, development and architecture.With a degree in journalism and a passion for travel and design, Catherine joined MondialePublishing in 2007, starting as Editorial Assistant before progressing through the ranks to Editor. In her current role, she manages the day-to-day running of Sleeper and its affiliated website (www.sleepermagazine.com), guiding the editorial content and creative identity. She also finds time to review some of the most exciting hotel developments worldwide and interview those who designed them.In recent years, Catherine has led a major re-brand of Sleeper –the results of which were unveiled in 2014 –and moderated panel discussions ata number of international trade exhibitions and hotel investment conferences. She also supports Sleeper’s portfolio of events including Sleepover and AHEAD
Catarina is the CEO of Nordic Property Management – and responsible for the project portfolio within Nordic Choice Hotels, the second largest hotel company in the Nordics with appr 200 hotels.
With 13 years in the Hotel Industry and being responsible for more than 60 New Hotel Openings, Catarina has an extensive experience of Hotel Development and Hotel Projects.
Catarina has always been fascinated of design and construction. After her studies at The Royal University of Technology in Stockholm she graduated with a Master of Science in Civil Engineering. Since then Catarina has constantly worked with different types of construction projects – from bridges and railways to office buildings and finally hotel projects.
“Of all projects – I believe that hotel projects are most intriguing where all aspects need to be addressed – logistics, aesthetics, functionality, cost efficiency, creative design, innovation & technology”
Catarina, and her team at Nordic Property Management, has recently been responsible for the development of Hotel AtSix and HOBO – two individually branded hotels in the very city centre of Stockholm.
Tina is an interior designer and architect with a diverse portfolio stretching across many contexts and continents, from hotel and restaurant design to high-end residential. With every project, Tina approaches the brief by delving into its context, culture and unique history to create timeless spaces that tell a story, provide a sense of place and delight. Tina believes that we should design with style over fashion to ensure the interior is long-lasting and consistently fresh. Tina is currently working on two new Park Hyatt hotel projects in Jakarta and Auckland, for MNC Land and Fu Wah Group respectively, as well as a boutique hotel for the House Hotel Group in Istanbul. She wasalso the project leader for Rüya, an award-winning Anatolian restaurant which recently opened in the Grosvenor House Hotel on the Dubai Marina. She has been working with D&D London for over a decade, including being the design lead on their award-winning South Place Hotel in the City of London and German Gymnasium in King’s Cross. Tina studied architecture at Westminster before joining Conran and Partners in 1997, completing her MA in Architecture & Interiors at the Royal College of Art in 2000.
Bob is well versed in the making of a successful space—from restaurants to lounges. Responsible for design and renovation of over 1,000 restaurants worldwide, Bob translates client goals into award-winning concepts through strategic planning and market analysis. While leading the direction for his multidisciplinary hospitality firm, Bob also belongs to both the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) and the Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI). He also has served on the Board of Directors of the California Restaurant Association and the Board of Advisors for the University of San Francisco’s Hospitality Management program, offering his unique perspective on restaurant design, operations, and other hot topics in the food and beverage industry.Prior to founding Puccini Group in 1996, Bob served as Partner and Senior Vice President for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants for 10 years during their expansion—the company’s project portfolio grew from four to 35 restaurants throughout the United States. During this time with Kimpton, as well as throughout the rest of his career, Bob has had the opportunity to foster relationships by speaking at international conventions and on forums while gaining recognitionas a global industry expert.
As Creative Director of David Collins Studio, Simon Rawlings has overseen the realisation of some of the world’s most iconic hospitality, residential and retail spaces. In the course of nearly two decades at The Studio, he has collaborated with clients such as Harrods, Alexander McQueenand MandarinOriental, both in reinventing prominent buildings and establishing important new landmarks.
Working on projects across the globe, in a myriad of sectors that spans residential projects (private homes and commercialresidences), hotels, restaurants and bars, furniture design, and luxury food and fashion retail design, Simon has been instrumental in setting the blueprint for The Studio’s work, which combines a near-obsessive attention to detail with virtuoso use of colour as a means of crafting mood through environment.
A passionate believer in ‘creating luxury through quality’, he has always been a committed advocate of craft, supporting artisanship while encouraging design innovation. Functionality remains a cornerstone of his design philosophy. This, combined with a profound understanding of brands and an acute sense of the way people live, enables him to design spaces they can use and inhabit in total harmony.
Born in Wales, Simon studied Interior Design at Birmingham University where he gained both his Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees. He joined David Collins Studio in 1997 and was appointed Creative Director in 2007, overseeing the creative output of The Studio. Mindful of the importance of nurturing new talent, he now devotes considerable energy to mentoring and teaching.
Simon draws inspiration from everyday observationandfrom his travels. Under his tenure, David Collins Studio has received more than thirty high-profile awards, includingthe Prix Versailles 2016 for Alexander McQueen, Paris and The Best Bar In The World 2013, 2014 & 2015 for the Artesian at The Langham, London. He remains committed to the belief that ‘the clarity of an idea ensures the longevity of a design’.
Piers Read is Managing Partner of Time and Space Co which specialises on urban regeneration in the UK and has a strong emphasis on commercial place-making at the heart of projects, in fitting with his operating experience working throughout the creative industries in recent years.
We bring ideas to life by bringing people and products together to create exceptional places, in authentic environments, that often regenerates underdeveloped cities, towns and buildings alike. This is usually achieved through the introduction of the entertainment, retail and leisure sectors to create mixed-use developments with a difference.
Our ethos is always to develop a strong cultural community, that is critical to the success of any project. Piers founded Wimbledon Film & TV Studios in 2010, which housed a 40,000 sq ft Media Village of like-minded tenants prior to being appointed Managing Director at Custard Factory in Birmingham. More recently he headed up the enterprise initiative at the Hat Factories in Luton town and large mixed use-scheme at ITV’s former home the Old Granada Studios complex in Manchester. Including opening a brand new co-work business called www.xyzworks.uk. Piers has extensive relationships across the public arts, cultural education and creative organisations and regularly bridges the gap between the private and public sectors to realise opportunities. He has consulted to Central Working on their sales and marketing strategy and understands the value of event production, both in terms of commercial outputs and to creating thriving work environments that drive collaboration and new business opportunities for professional networks.
James Soane is an architect, writer and teacher – heading up Project Orange the practice he set up with his partner Christopher Ash. Their work is as eclectic as it is international. He has worked with the Park Hotels in India for over 15 years and has just overseen the design of their new brand Zone by The Park. Last year saw the opening of the Dom in St Petersburg while next year Nhow London will complete.
The practice is interested in a collaged story-telling approach which synthesises cultural insights with new paradigms.
James also is the Director of Critical Practice at the London School of Architecture, where he teaches thinking and writing. Last year he co-edited ‘A Gendered Profession’; a book looking at issues of equality in the profession.
Vince Stroop joined Stonehill Taylor as a Partner in 2014, bringing with him over 22 years of experience leading the design of prominent public and private spaces, that encompass luxury residences, libraries, wineries, and restaurants.
His recent focus has been specializing in hotel design in a variety of destinations throughout North America and International locations including London, Moscow, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ryad.
His projects include work for prominent hospitality brands like Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, Marriott International, Kerzner International Resorts, MGM Resorts International, and the Sydell Group.
Henrietta Thompson is a design writer, editor and curator based in London. She is editor-at-large at Wallpaper magazine, co-founder and director of Furthermore Media, and co-founder of London agency Naked On The Piano where she works with brands across the hospitality, luxury and design industries.
Henrietta writes a design column for the Telegraph as well as the lead monthly column in British Airways’ Business Life magazine. She regularly contributes to a variety of other publicationsincluding the Guardian, Mr Porter, and Viewpoint about culture, travel and the future.
As lead curator for the British government’s GREAT Festival of Creativity in China Henrietta worked with more than 150 British and Chinese brands and speakers across an extensive programme of talks, workshops and installations. Previous exhibitions include Everything Forever Now, an internationally touring exhibition of sustainable design for the British Council, several installations at the V&A, and an annual exhibition of Scandinavian design for the Royal Norwegian Embassy. Henrietta is the author of six books
Matt Utber is the Founder & Creative Director of branding agency The Plant. Launched in 2005, their insightful design meant The Plant soon became a leading agency for F&B branding. In the past, the team has designed for brands like Jamie Oliver and in recentyears the agency has moved into the hotel industry having created the brand identity for the new The Four Seasons London at Ten Trinity Square and Hilton in St Petersburg. They are currently working with The Langham Hotel and Bespoke Hotels (the owners of the award winningGotham in Manchester). In 2015, Mattdecided to combine two of his passions, food and cycling, and set up his own cycling restaurant The Dynamo in London. There is now a second site for the restaurant set to launch in the autumn.
Maria is an established thought-leader within the hospitality design world, admired for her roll-call of beautiful and ingeniously designed projects. She is as confident in imagining large, imposing spaces as she is in creating intimate, cosy interiors, from the boldly contemporary to the classical genre. An architect by training and an interior designer by choice, she combines visionary use of space with design that reaches out beyond trend.
Maria established MKV Design in London in 2000 after an early career which had taken her from Athens to Milan and onto the UK. Current/recent projects include: The Bürgenstock Resort in Switzerland; Makedonia Palace Hotel, Thessaloniki; the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane; The Grand Hyatt Hotel & Residences, Abu Dhabi; and The Royal Savoy, Lausanne.
Driven by vision, innovation and with years of varied experience across the continents, Blanche manages with a keen business sense, an eye for detail and exceptional leadership skills.
Blanche has worked with some of the world’s major hotel companies, successfully operating and opening both international chain hotels as well as independently owned boutique properties. She was responsible for repositioning InterContinental Hotels flagship property in Amsterdam, the Amstel Hotel, and subsequently successfully opened and operated as General Manager, Blakes Amsterdam, for Anouska Hempel, then Amsterdam’s first boutique hotel.
She then founded her own business, Fairquest Hotels, an innovative hotel management company. Blanche has been involved in a variety of projects across Europe as General Manager to manage, reposition and re-launch hotels and restaurants. Rocco Forte Amigo Hotel, Steigenberger Wiltchers, Breeze for Lebua, Asparagus and Cuisine & Co, Museum Food.
Fairquest has partnered with New York-based hotel management company, Partners and Alchemy, with Blanche the European partner.
Gilberto's role at Il Prisma Group is to drive the Uk branch, and inspire all the creative sectors of the Group driving the strategic process for the international projects. Understand people’s needs, find the best solutions to create spaces that support you and not just contain you, build the imaginary bridge between customers and brands are the focus of his activity. Working in different fields has taught him how to look at reality from different sides and how to use lateral thinking to ameliorate people's life through the design of the spaces. Now with Il Prisma Group, he explores every side of the human behaviour and culture designing to ameliorate the customer experience in every physical environment.
As Design Director and co-founder of Warner Wong Design and WOW Architects, Maria sets strategic objectives and oversees the development of the WOW team.
Under Maria’s direction, WOW’s extensive portfolio of work has been governed by a commitment to creating spaces of extraordinary sensory experience rooted in culture, memory and place.
Maria leads the design and implementation of bespoke residences, health and wellness facilities and hotel and restaurant architecture and interior design.
Projects include the Singapore High Commissioner’s Residence in London, the Bishopsgate House, Sentosa Cove House and Chiltern House in Singapore. A long held commitment to promoting creative collaboration led to the adaptive reuse of the Niven Road Studio into WOWHAUS.
Committed to promoting sustainable design and education, Maria has taught sustainable architectural design at the National University of Singapore, and served on the NUS/RIBA Accreditation Committee. She has published on the topic of sustainability and represented WOW as a founding member of the Singapore Green Building Council. Maria served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Singapore American School from 2008-2015.
Born in Australia, raised and educated in Mexico City, Maria began to study Architecture at Universidad Anahuacin Mexico City and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Southern California. Maria earned a Master of Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University in 1991.
Prior to founding Warner Wong Design and WOW Architects in 2000, Maria founded multidisciplinary design consultancy Parallax Design. She worked in Japan for Nikken Sekkei before moving to Singapore in 1992. In 2007, Maria was the recipient of the prestigious Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Award, an international award that recognizes exceptional women in business who have made a significant contribution to their profession.
As co-founder of Warner Wong Design and WOW Architects, Chiu Man has presided over the evolution of WOW since it was established in the year 2000, building a network of multidisciplinary award winning practices with a significant body of work in the Asian region and beyond.
Leveraging on 30years of international industry experience, Chiu Man spearheads the business development and design direction of WOW. Dedicated to investigating and developing new design paradigms and research-driven innovation.
Combining a unique mix of Asian heritage with international design experience, Chiu Man has led the way, completing prestigious hospitality, commercial, residential, and retail projects in China, India, Maldives, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Theta, Nepal, Philippines, Tanzania and Australia. Chiu Man leads projects from Business Advisory and Master Planning, to Architecture, Interior and Landscape Design.
Chiu Man’s widely published projects, include the multi-award winning and highly commended Vivanta by Taj –Whitefield in Bangalore; the acclaimed Yalong Bay No. 5 Villas and Spa in Sanya, China, Mandala House in Bangalore and the highly acclaimed St Regis Resort in the Maldives.
Prior to founding WOW, Chiu Man was Corporate Officer and Design Director of Nikken Sekkei International, Singapore where he realized the Ria Bintan and Club Med Projects. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the University of Southern California (magna cum laude) and a Master in Architecture from the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University.