GlobeSt.com: What are your clients requesting today, and what are their concerns?
Thilenius: Put simply, they are seeking differentiation within their competitive set. It’s not enough to create a unique “look” anymore. Our clients are very sophisticated and understand that great design employs the tailored integration of human interactivity with unique form. They also insist on efficiency of purpose and scrutinize their labor models. As a result, we are constantly developing ways to reduce redundancies within the space, and highlight instead the opportunities associated with combining service offerings. Savvy retailers also understand that the journey to enjoying a shopping experience extends well outside the physical store and that people crave something unique and meaningful from the actual transaction. We work with our clients to define ways to integrate technology and branding with our holistic design approach, which focuses on continuity. We believe that spaces should tell a story and that the user experience should feel seamless, memorable, and inspired.
"The journey to enjoying a shopping experience extends well outside the physical store..."
GlobeSt.com: What is your outlook for the design of hospitality and retail over the next five years?
Thilenius: With new products, processes, and technological advances coming out every day, there is plenty of room within these sectors to stretch the envelope and be creative. It’s such an exciting time, and the convergence of new technologies within the construction and design industries has allowed us to create environments and interactions that weren’t even possible five years ago. I believe we are in the middle of a design revolution, and it’s thrilling to be in a position to empower our clients with the freedom that ingenuity allows. Manufacturers continue to offer more customization as a result of the growing demands to differentiate and soon the only limit to what is possible is our own imagination. I’m certain these two industries will continue to merge and that we’ll see more hotels specific to the products they sell and/or represent. They will offer personalized shopping as a destination, rooms dedicated to pop-ups, and 3D printed food options. Likewise, I believe you’ll see more retail environments offering spa treatments, concierge services, nap rooms, and F&B options. The world’s first farm-to-table apothecary hotel? Hey, today anything is possible and that’s extraordinary!