By Number Ten Architectural Group
In October of 2015 Heather Anderson, Number TEN’s Hospitality/Entertainment studio lead and senior Professional Interior Designer, was one of 25 professionals selected by the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) to attend the HOST 2015, the 39th International Hospitality Exhibition in Milan, Italy.
This year’s HOST Exhibition was attended by over 2000 exhibitors and more than 150,000 visitors from nearly 200 countries. Exhibition participants included a wide variety of industry professionals from around the globe, including some of the world’s most innovative designers, business owners and vendors.
As Number TEN’s Hospitality and Entertainment studio lead, Heather focuses on new construction and renovation of facilities including hotels, gaming centres, casinos, restaurants, retail outlets and commercial office interiors.
Attending HOST enabled her to build on her commitment to creating design solutions that are fresh, functional, relevant and inspiring, as well as to experience other countries’ design culture.
“I applied to attend the conference and was accepted amongst a talented group of Canadian designers who focus on hospitality work,” says Heather. “It was a real honour. This was a unique opportunity to learn about cutting edge interior design solutions, trends and technologies that could then be incorporated into Number TEN’s own interior design projects.”
Products showcased ranged from wine and food bar presentation, grab & go and automatic dispensing to automated guestroom technology.
“In comparison to other trade shows I've attended, the exhibition style was definitely much more multi-sensory and played on emotion,” says Heather. “Strategies that are not only effective in marketing a product, but that we strive to incorporate into our interiors so they resonate and leave a lasting impression.”
Heather says one of the biggest trends this year involve creating spaces that appeal to and engage all of the senses.
“There were chefs cooking innovative cuisine in tradeshow booths, refrigerated display case vendors offering samples of gelato while they reviewed the features of their product, and an interior garden of relaxation that showcased the vendor's furniture and also offered a respite from the hectic action of the conference.” Creating multi-sensory experiences requires not only appropriate finish and technology integration but in some instances a re-organization of typical spatial layouts. For instance, “food prep and cooking activities, conventionally relegated to back of house, are now often celebrated as a focal point of the dining area. I’m excited to see how this shift towards interiors that are engaging and transparent continues to evolve in other facets of hospitality environments.”
Integrating automated technology into interior spaces was another major design trend that she found very exciting.“We’re increasingly seeing this automated technology that allows staff to work more efficiently while reducing waste. For example, bar staff can dispense a glass of wine with the push of a button, allowing them to regulate portions and stop worrying about over- or under-pouring.”
Heather says the trend toward integration of automated technology in interior design has been slowly making its way to North America, and has a major effect on the overall function and experience of a space. “It’s important to know and understand what’s out there, and then to make the recommendation when there’s an opportunity for this technology to increase the value of the client’s design solution.”
Number TEN is thrilled by the IDC’s selection of Heather to attend HOST, and looks forward to putting her growing knowledge of cutting edge trends and technology to use in future Number TEN interior design projects.