IIDA: Focus on Hospitality

April 8, 2007
By Pam Light, FIIDA Diverse project opportunities are a big reason for this segment’s considerable growth.

As anyone practicing in the sector will tell you, hospitality design is about more than just hotels and restaurants—projects include resorts, country clubs, transportation hubs, entertainment venues, conference centers and more. The diversity of the design is endless—from themes to brand experiences—it all addresses basic design criteria including how the human experience is enhanced by design.

As reported by Interior Design magazine in its 2006 survey of the top 75 firms practicing in the hospitality market, there has been huge expansion into this practice sector, with relative newcomers to the specialty surging to the top of the production list. Hotels were the greatest moneymakers, accounting for nearly 50 percent of design fees for these firms, while resorts and restaurants came in at second and third, respectively.

The report further articulates that for onethird of these large firms, hospitality is their only work, and for another 11 percent, the sector accounts for 95 percent or more of their income. While these statistics only analyze the firms with the largest amount of work speced, the good news for the industry is that the average hospitality fee earned per design employee was $126,118—up 16.7 percent from just a year ago. Clearly, hospitality design is an expanding and lucrative sector of design that is garnering attention in many respects, including through hospitality focused events such as the upcoming HD 2007 Expo & Conference.

IIDA's Hospitality Design Forum, led by Larry Wilson, IIDA, in partnership with IIDA vice president of Forums, Kim Mikula, IIDA, will have a great presence at the HD Expo in Las Vegas May 10-12. IIDA offers insight into the hospitality sector and how to "get ahead" in this ever-growing field through signature educational programming and networking. Designers are invited to stop by the IIDA booth or participate in one of IIDA's programs at the show.

On Thursday, May 10, IIDA will host the HD Insider "How and Why Owners Choose Their Design Teams," giving an inside peek into the perspective of what owners consider when selecting their design teams. Panelists will include: Michael Dalton, IIDA, vice president, design, Strategic Hotels; Gary Dollens, vice president, product & design, Hyatt Hotels Corp.; Ron Wackrow, executive vice president, The Related Companies; Joanna Doyle, director, capital expenditures, Host Hotels & Resorts; and the program's moderator David Berins, founding partner, Berins & Co., LLC.

Also on that Thursday, IIDA will present a "Guide to Understanding the 10 Most Misunderstood Contract Clauses." Warren G. Feldman, a practicing architect who is an attorney, deciphers the top 10 contract clauses that could trip up design professionals. By taking actual contract clauses and explaining their meanings, Feldman helps take the guesswork and hidden downside out of negotiating contracts and understanding the risks one assumes in signing.

Manufacturers exhibiting at the show are invited to enter the IIDA/HD Product Design Competition, honoring the most important new products in the hospitality sector. To learn more before the April 20 submission deadline, e-mail [email protected].

IIDA recognizes the importance of this dynamic design specialty and through the Hospitality Forum is leading the way to provide quality educational programming and design standards. Visit www.iida.org for more information regarding the Hospitality Forum as well as upcoming programming opportunities.

Pam Light, FIIDA, LEED AP, is the 2006-2007 president of IIDA and a senior vice president with HOK in Culver City, CA. IIDA is headquartered in Ste. 13-500 at the Merchandise Mart, Chicago, and can be reached at (888) 799-IIDA; www.iida. org; or [email protected].

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of I+S Design, create an account today!