HM on Location: HOTEC Design Insiders Talk Nature, Hospitality

Sourced from Hotel Management

As the 2019 HOTEC Design conference got underway here at The Phoenician, A Luxury Collection Resort, several hospitality design experts gathered over lunch to discuss the ever-growing trend of biophilic design, which moderator Cindy Kaufman, director of marketing for Interface Hospitality, defined as “our innate affinity for other life forms [and] nature, and our connection to the natural world.”

Hospitality design, Kaufman noted, has been shifting toward the "experience" era for a while, and that theme dominated the talking points during the panel. Bill Browning, managing partner at environmental strategies research and consulting firm Terrapin Bright Green, noted that “pattern languages”—a method of describing good design practices—have evolved from referring to things to referring to patterns of experiences. “We’re trying to tease out our experiences that impact us in beneficial ways, psychologically and physiologically, without cultural or gender filters,” he explained. “We’re trying to find universal responses.”

15 Patterns

Browning noted his "14 Patterns of Biophilic Design" study, which categorizes design elements into three major classes: nature of the space, nature in the space and natural analogues. Nature in the space includes adding natural elements like living plants and running water, while natural analogues include representations of natural elements. Nature of the space is less obvious, and affects how guests feel in any given room thanks to its layout and furnishings. For example, a booth at a bar helps them feel protected, and if angled correctly, allows them to see their surroundings while relaxing in what they perceive as a safe environment.

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