Clean Design in Public Spaces

Following a busy few weeks, Designscape’s virtual event platform is now closed. Fortunately, if you didn’t quite catch our full line up of topical virtual discussions, you can still enjoy them on-demand on the Designscape website.

Specially curated for professionals across hospitality design, Hospitality Day featured thought-leading discussions from trailblazers in design, business, science and technology, including Accor, citizenM Hotels, Marriott Luxury, and many more.

In one of Hospitality Day’s most popular virtual discussions, the panel considered the currently hotly-debated subject of Clean Design in Public Spaces. In the short term, how can designers create public spaces that accommodate memorable, social experiences whilst respecting new rules on social distancing, hygiene etc.? In the longer term, as work patterns shift and city structures evolve, how can designers, restauranteurs and hoteliers create experiences that counteract diminished footfall in business districts, and tempt custom back in?

Bearing these freshly emerging nuances in mind, how should designers, architects, hoteliers and restaurateurs approach successfully executing clean design in public spaces? To begin to touch the surface on these questions, we wrapped up our top 3 takeaways on clean design in public spaces.

Clean Design in Public Spaces
From Left to Right: Sophie Harper (Editor, Space), Dexter Moren (Dexter Moren Associates), Afroditi Krassa (Founder, Afroditi Krassa)




Design is all about problem solving

In the period ahead of us more than ever, designers must foreground solving the problems and concerns of guests, as well as helping clients to survive a difficult moment in time in the process. As guests begin to return to public hospitality spaces, designers will need to work harder to innovate design solutions that answer to a new set of concerns, and ensure that guests feel secure, happy and safe. With this in mind, how should designers approach the task of establishing guest wellbeing, without sacrifice to the ambience and ‘buzz’ guests seek from hospitality spaces?

Sustainability cannot be side-lined

Along with the need for temporary-fix screening measures and staff PPE in public spaces, came an unfortunate resurgence in the use of plastics in hospitality design and beyond. Keeping in mind ever-evolving medical research into the differential hygiene properties of materials, designers are now faced with the unfamiliar task of reconciling sustainability, safety and functionality with aesthetic appeal. Could design-led natural solutions such as plant walls doubling as table dividers (biophilic design) be the future, or will public space design return to old tried-and-tested formulas before we’ve had time to catch up?

Adapting to evolving lifestyles and city structures

As increasing numbers of people shift their working week outside of the office, footfall to former business districts is rapidly diminishing, and city structures are beginning to evolve accordingly. If a basic ‘bums on seats’ approach can no longer be relied upon in former business hubs, how can designers provide new solutions to tempt guests back in? Moreover, as strategies do emerge to create new revenue streams in these hospitality spaces, how should designers adapt their former blueprints to keep up?

“The change in the way we work will ultimately change city patterns, and the way we build cities.” - Afroditi Krassa, Afroditi Krassa

Watch Clean Design in Public Spaces in full here, and head to to discover more discussions from leading names in hospitality.