With imaginative designs and thought-provoking debates, the 12th annual Sleep, Europe’s hospitality design and development event, returned to London’s Business Design Centre 21st and 22nd November 2017. Attracting a record number of visitors from around the world who all share a passion for creating hotels, restaurants and bars, this year’s edition explored the theme “Loyalty: Lessons in Love” through a spectrum of intriguing hotel space installations, Conference sessions that tapped into the undercurrents shaping tomorrow’s cutting-edge design destinations and the highest quality of international Exhibitors, many of whom reported doing more business than ever on their stands.
Sleep Set, the event’s annual guestroom competition, sparked a diversity of design responses. Developed in cooperation with Ipsos Loyalty, the global leader in customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty research, the “Loyalty: Lessons in Love” theme was uniquely interpreted by each contender. Sponsored by Kohler, the 2017 Sleep Set saw four global teams of designers and fit-out contractors each create a room that explored how design influences feelings of love and loyalty.
Winner of the competition was Stonehill Taylor, the NYC-based hospitality architecture and design studio that partnered with builder YPRT from Istanbul to bring to life IRUS, a highly customisable space that balances the outward focus of being an openminded citizen of the world with the inward perspective of self-love and remaining loyal to one’s values. Hospitality interior architecture and design specialist MKV Design, from London, won the Highly Commended award for The Conserve, their room set examining how, in an industry that takes more from nature than it gives back, travel and hospitality must help create a healthy, sustainable future by showing loyalty and love for our planet. Italian architecture and interiors company Il Prisma designed the emotional-based living concept ‘The Lovers’ exploring how brands build relationships with people just as any humans do with each other. Lastly, high-end architecture and interiors studio 1508 London beautifully detailed their set to illustrate how small design fragments inspire emotional connections and meaningful memories.
A Curated Collection of Cutting-Edge Exhibitors
Top quality, high style and exquisite craftsmanship were in abundant supply amongst the over 160 Exhibitors from around the globe who chose Sleep as a platform due to its specialised focus and global visitor profile. Enthusiastic feedback as to the quality of attendees and project leads confirms just how important Sleep is for leading international hospitality FF&E suppliers.
Lynn Fisher, Contract Sales Manager at Clarke & Clarke, commented, "Amazing, it really has been one of the best days at Sleep.", while Mark Poulain, International Specifications Manager of Roca Armani agreed, "We've had a stream of people, both existing and lots of new potential customers." Mark Harle, National Accounts Manager at Johnson Tiles, revealed that “Sleep has a really high quality of visitors, about 80-90% are project specific.”
Founder Sponsor and host of the invitation-only VIP lounge GROHE presented its Colours brassware along with its SmartControl Concealed shower system featuring a brand new Smartbox three-way diverter and clever push and turn button control. Loloey launched its natural New Zealand wool and bamboo silk rugs by Karim Rashid, a collection that draws inspiration from technology, architecture and design, and the Romo Group showed off its latest fabric and wallcovering ranges.
Style Library Contract, top quality supplier of fabric, wallcoverings, trimmings and paint to the contract sector, won the Best Stand of the Show award for its elegant stand, while provider of custom, fully-integrated carpentry services J & J Teixeira was given the Highly Commended award for the expert craftsmanship in its guestroom display.
Food for Thought
The two-day Sleep Conference brought together some of the leading minds in hospitality design and development to debate the issues shaping the industry’s future. Three tastemakers from the F&B world came together with moderator Catherine Martin, editor of Sleeper magazine, for the “Fast Food” session: Bob Puccini, founder of Puccini Group, USA; designer and chef Ido Garini from Studio Appétit; and Simon Rawlings, Creative Director at David Collins Studio, explored new dining concepts, sourcing local and the rise of the slow food movement.
In “Design Beyond Space...ID” moderated by Guy Dittrich, editor-at-large of Sleeper, graphic design and branding experts explained how the design of a hotel extends beyond its physical space. Matt Utber, Creative Director of The Plant, UK; Candice Madrid-Dahlqvist, Design Director of Sweden-based Millkeeper Studio; and Kate Cox from GA Brand Design with offices in the UK, Hungary, China and Malaysia, delved into the influence of graphics, signage, fonts and collateral in the hotel realm.
Just what is a “Post Cool” hotel? Hannah Carter Owers, director of Universal Design Studio; James Soane director of Project Orange; and Henrietta Thompson, editor-at-large of Wallpaper* magazine explored how when it comes to hotels, being ‘cool’ is no longer cool. These creative luminaries explored what is coming next in hospitality and how a more caring attitude towards design enriches the guest experience.
Key opinion leaders Eric Jafari, co-founder and creator of Locke Hotels and Simon Willis, Brand Director of Principal Hotel Group, joined moderator Jamie Chappell, Global Business Director of Horwath HTL in the “Development and Investment” session examining the prospects for global hotel development and consideration of whether the risks in developing design-led hotels pays off for savvy investors.
Four keynote presentations from acclaimed speakers set the tone throughout the Conference, with insights provided by Tristan Auer, principal of Atelier Tristan Auer, Wilson Associates Paris’ first Haute Couture Design Studio; NYC-based architect Jeffrey Beers; Eero Koivisto, co-founder of Claesson Koivisto Rune; and Maria Warner Wong and Chiu Man Wong, principals of Singapore-based WOW Architects I Warner Wong Design.
Known for the trendsetting bars and restaurants they create for the city’s Moscow wining-and-dining scene, Moscow’s Design & Architecture Studio Sundukovy Sisters made a glamorous splash in London with this year’s Sleeper Bar. Developed around the idea that loyalty is born out of our inner and outer worlds coming together, their concept used reflection and light to suggest the infinity of humankind while capturing the inner world of each guest in a moment of time.
Christopher Barger, SVP Global Project Business at GROHE, the Founder Sponsor for the Sleep event and host of the VIP Lounge for the 12th year, comments, “The Sleep event continues to provide a vital opportunity for us to engage with the hospitality industry and key architectural practices. The array of GROHE product innovations exhibiting at the event was incredibly strong, and as the Founding Sponsor, we hope that GROHE helped to provide a source of inspiration for the home market and international audience.”