Sleep Set designers reveal their visions for hotel tribes


This year, Sleep has pioneered a collaboration of international design talent and social scientists that will transform the way hotels and designers think about the spaces they create. Now, the first intriguing glimpses into the initial work have been revealed, hinting at what visitors can expect to experience for real at Sleep in November. Inspired by a ‘Science of Tribes’ theme, the five design firms participating in the 2016 Sleep Set competition – Sleep’s annual guestroom feature that is widely recognised for challenging convention - are Aukett Swanke, Gensler, Mitsui Designtec, Studio Proof and WOW Architects, and each is designing a room for a different tribe.


Designing for the “Milieu” of creative and individualistic global nomads, Gensler will create a guestroom experience to celebrate the experimental habitat and chameleon nature of the Digital Avant-garde tribe. “Like a paper aeroplane when thrown, not knowing how far it will go or where it will land, perhaps picked up and thrown again, our guests seek an instinctive, unscripted journey which continues to shape and influence their lives.”

Studio Proof

Designing for Performers who are high-achieving individuals and the economic elite of all the tribes, Studio Proof has created a fictitious member of the tribe, a driven professional who's also a pleasure seeker and early adopter. The designers have imagined her story. “Jo Anderson is at the peak of her career and expects the best from life, including her hotels. Hotel Confidential offers exclusivity, intimacy, modernity - and unexpected delights. She lies back on the chaise-longue, reflecting on sea and sky…”

Gensler and Studio Proof

WOW Architects

Designing for Intellectuals, a tribe of cultureseekers and responsible connoisseurs, WOW will create a space in which the guest can make the most of the luxury of time, where it is possible to connect to the many layers of life. “A retreat for uncertain times, the room as a haven of safety and comfort where guests select their preferred reality from a menu of options. The bath tub is elevated to the central character, stimulating a re-appraisal of the place of every element throughout the room.”

Mitsui Designtec

Designing for the status-conscious Established tribe, Mitsui Designtec will create a guestroom experience offering everything money can't buy, fulfilling emotional satisfaction, creating a family environment and addressing all five senses. “Our journey aligns heritage and connoisseurship with all the senses. Flowing water, wavering lights, a breath of air, the rhythms of life. The destination is internal fulfilment and emotional connection.”

Wow and Mitsui Designtec

Aukett Swanke

Designing for experience-driven individuals who reject traditional social conventions, Aukett Swanke will create a completely immersive environment for the Sensation Oriented tribe. “This is a room in which to retreat and come together, offering an escape to real life, not from it. It could be anywhere, but while you are in it, you can only be here. A bivouac where guests create their own reality.”

Aukett Swanke

This year’s ‘Science of Tribes’ theme is drawn from the Sinus Institute social model which identifies social groups based on the shared values, lifestyles and aesthetic preferences of their members, giving participants and visitors the opportunity to explore the science of hotel design.

The Sleep Sets will once again be located on the Gallery level of the “Other Hall” in London’s Business Design Centre. Visitors will be able to hear the designers make their case before a panel of judges in a conference session on Day Two of Sleep, followed by the announcement of the winner of The Science of Tribes Sleep Set competition.

Register for a complimentary pass to Sleep and find out more about the conference and exhibition as well as Sleep Set at

Sleep will take place on Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd November at the Business Design Centre in London.