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Hotel Industry: Trends Out, Target Groups In

Erin Tallman
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London’s November hotel event Sleep challenges the context of hotel design and architecture for its 10th year running.

Five design teams were invited to compete in this year’s competition under the complex theme Sinus-Milieus, a scientifically validated model which charts people’s changing values and everyday “lifeworlds,” revealing the common attitudes of each group.

For the Sleep Set competition, five of the nine recently defined groups were selected: sensation-orientated, intellectuals, established, performers and digital avant-garde.

“Designers usually go with trends instead of thinking about the consumer,” Matthias Arnold, senior market research manager at the Sinus-Institute, told ArchiExpo e-Magazine. As the hotel industry faces the digitalization challenge, wondering how best to tackle it, Arnold explains that “not each target group wants a digitized experience.”

The brief helped the designers develop new ideas in regards to client experience, Arnold concluded, when a member of WOW design team told him, “This information is really a game changer for the hotel industry.”

The brief? One 28-square-meter room containing a sleeping area, a bathroom and a free zone—open to the team’s imagination. Every detail had to be oriented toward the team’s designated tribe.


“Sensation-oriented and searching for fun, thrills, action and entertainment, with a desire to escape, leading to ever-changing experiences and sub-culture,” as defined by Sinus-Milieus.

The Aukett Swanke design team designed their free space as a social gathering area and focused completely on interior design and less on furnishings. Acoustics changed according to the room, and the lighting could be adjusted to alter mood setting. They went for a more abstract feel, targeting fabrics for an emotional experience, while the floor was prepared for high traffic. Seventy-two individual cassettes form the structure of the set, with the room lining formed in a fiberglass mesh and the bathroom finished in a high-gloss graphite lacquer.

“Throughout the day we could see people hanging out, chatting or just relaxing,” Nick de Klerk from London-based Aukett Swanke told ArchiExpo e-Magazine. “It’s crucial to understand the clients, and it’s rewarding to see the results.”

Courtesy of Sleep
Courtesy of Sleep

The sensation-oriented tribe #sleepset room from @AukettSwanke incorporated a bespoke washbasin from Laufen #sleep16

Intellectuals Sleep Set by WoW Architects. Credit: Sven Eselgroth Pphotography

Established Sleep Set by Mitsui Design. Credit: Sven Eselgroth Pphotography

Performers Sleep Set by Studio Proof. Credit: Sven Eselgroth Pphotography

Digital Avant-Garde Sleep Set by Gensler. Photo Credit: Reuben Derrick

Organic amplifiers by Camilla Lee.

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