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Designers to Watch

Nov. 16, 2017

Recently celebrated at the New Museum in New York City, the Radical Innovation in Hospitality Award recognizes those who push the boundaries of what is possible in the hospitality industry, celebrating innovative ideas in their approaches to short-term lodging.

For 2017, Radical Innovation’s 11th year, Brandan Siebrecht of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) won first place honors for his Hyperloop Hotel concept. Caspar Schols from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London received an honorable mention for Garden House.

Siebrecht’s Hyperloop Hotel design uses sustainable, modular solutions via shipping containers that double as traveling guest suites. Luxuriously furnished, Hyperloop Hotel’s containers are customizable in terms of layout and design. Guests may travel and dock at one of 13 hotel destinations across the United States, with the entire experience managed on a customized smartphone app.

“Right now, a hyperloop is being tested in the northern area of Las Vegas,” he explained. “It has been in the news a lot and other studios at UNLV have used hyperloop in their designs. I wanted to merge this new and upcoming technology with the hospitality industry. Travelling normally, you have to get to the airport, wait at TSA, sit on a plane, get off the plane, and then travel into [the destination city]. The Hyperloop Hotel eliminates all of that. You basically walk or drive to the nearest hyperloop hotel, get in, and travel while in the luxury of your [room].” Every guest’s “pod” is completely customizable through the hotel’s app. “You just pull out your phone, set the destination, and customize the pod layout,” Siebrecht noted.

Regarding his career path, Siebrecht plans to continue his focus on hospitality design. “Right now, I work at a small firm in Las Vegas and we do some hospitality design. My plans for the future would be to work for a larger, well-known firm in the U.S. that is focused on hospitality design. Winning [the Radical Innovation Award] has helped with networking, and I have met with big executives in the hospitality industry.”

Schols’ honorable mention, Garden House, was originally conceived as an answer to his mother’s wish for a garden getaway. Providing the comfort and safety of home in nature, the Garden House’s frame is transitional according to the needs and desires of the user. Built with Douglas Fir wood, glass, and steel, the Garden House is fully insulated with a small wood stove for heat. By combining a solid outer shell and inner glass frame built on casters, the structure can be expanded or condensed, allowing the interior to be hidden away or completely open to the elements.

Working with a developer in Norway, Schols hopes his design can be used to provide a broader audience with the experience of living in nature and sleeping under the stars. “That magical experience is something I would like to create,” he noted. “I asked how we can provide this experience people have never had before.” 

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