Sleep, Europe’s leading hotel design and development event, has just announced its much anticipated conference programme for 2014. As last year, the conference is complimentary for all pre-registered visitors, offering operators, developers, architects, designers and the many other professionals who attend the show, an unparalleled chance to hear and engage with industry stars, influencers and the big thinkers.
Two of the design industry’s most enduring partnerships will be celebrated. George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, the founders of Toronto-based Yabu Pushelberg who are revered for their iconic and contemporary hotel design, such as W Hotel, Times Square in New York, Public Hotel in Chicago and The London EDITION, will be in conversation with Catherine Martin, editor of Sleeper, while Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku will be interviewed by the conference moderator, Guy Dittrich. As Jouin Manku, the Parisian-based duo have recently woven their individual passions for industrial design and craftsmanship into the outstanding interiors of both the Mandarin Oriental and Plaza Athénée in Paris as well as Fontevraud L’hôtel in the Loire Valley.
Legendary restaurateur, Jeremy King, who, this autumn will be welcoming guests to his first hotel, The Beaumont in London’s Mayfair, will open the conference, offering insight into how the art of successful restaurant management may be translated into the world of luxury hotel keeping. Then, in a gear shift, a panel discussion will follow about the new generation of designer hostels with speakers including the funder of Generator Hostels, Josh Wyatt of Patron Capital, and three of the designers setting the benchmark in this sector – Werner Aisslinger, Ian Burleigh and Anwar Makhayech. The heat will be further turned up when Andrew Sangster, editor of Hotel Analyst and frequent conference inquisitor, will instead be the interrogated, answering questions about the hotel market put to him by Philip Camble, director of Whitebridge Hospitality.
Other sessions new to the conference this year will hear from leading hotel operators and developers, including Billy Skelli-Cohen of Greenbrook BD, the developers of the new Mondrian London, and Carlson Rezidor’s Eugene Staal about how they identify the parameters for realising a well-designed project; there will be a discussion about the triumphs and frustrations of working with heritage buildings and, in a session moderated by David Curtis-Brignell from Think Apartments, an exploration of the potential of design to differentiate long-stay lodging as it seeks to take on the hotel brands. The tickly issue of how to define good taste and true style will also be debated by a panel of designers and trend forecasters, including Tom Hupe of EPR Architects and Sally Davies from Global Color Research, moderated by Andrew Linwood of Areen Hospitality Design.
“The Sleep Conference is a unique event that offers access to a vast wealth of design knowledge, know-how and sheer talent,” says moderator Guy Dittrich. “The hotel sector is very dynamic at the moment and design in the widest sense is now recognised as a driving force in the industry’s success. This makes for a conference full of passion and new ideas as well as a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues from across Europe and further afield.”
Several session favourites are returning but with new faces. On the second day of the conference, Rapid Eye Movement, based on the Pecha Kucha model, will once again provide a rousing wake-up call. This year, some of the newest minds in the architectural and design community, as nominated by the industry’s most celebrated names, will be participating.
Also back are The Sleep Round Tables, organised by Daniel Englender of Benjamin West, giving delegates the opportunity for one-to-one conversations with senior executives from the hospitality industry, including Christian Youens from Cedar Capital, Dominic Seely of Westmont Hospitality Group, Lionel Benjamin, Director – Hotels for Topland Group and the CEO of Leonardo Hotels, Saar Sharon. And – always a popular session – the intrepid designers of the concept Sleep Set rooms, which are constructed in an area adjacent to the conference theatre, will be called to the stage to explain their response to this year’s challenge. ‘Simplexity’ is the theme for 2014 and the judges are: Katherine Blaisdell of Belmond, Marco Nijhof of yoo Hotels and Conrad Smith of ReardonSmith Architects. The winning Sleep Set team will be announced on the evening of the first day during networking and drinks served in the Sleep Bar.
Every year Sleep galvanises the industry with an initiative aimed at inspiring young designers and students to join the hotel design sector, and this year the event has linked up with Class of Your Own, a leading social enterprise for built environment education. Over the summer, school children across the UK have been busy designing a hotel fit for a James Bond movie located within a London Underground station, in the process learning to use the latest BIM technology. The conference will hear from the two finalists in a session which will decide on the winner and provide an update from Arup on the impact of BIM on design.
‘Question Time’ will wrap up the conference with international industry leaders answering questions posed by the audience in an open forum.
Katy Ghahremani, partner at Make Architects, is a regular attendee at the conference. “Sleep is the main hotel conference in the UK and a great way to find out what is happening globally in the hospitality industry,” she says. “No two years are the same – the organisers manage to keep the format fresh, engaging and evolving every year. As an architect and designer, I love to hear about the other side of the industry such as the investment and management issues. Having a good understanding of these non-design issues helps me to deliver better design.”
Sleep’s Headline Sponsor is Grohe.
The Sleep Conference, together with the Sleep Set and Sleep Exhibition will be held on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th November at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. For more information and to register for complementary passes visit: www.thesleepevent.com
Inspiration + Information + Innovation: Sleep Conference Line-Up