Congratulations on your new role! What are your key objectives going forwards?
I will be leading a team of designers and architects to create well-appointed and functional spaces for Wilson Associates. Having just moved to Dallas from NYC, I am focused on building new industry relationships. It’s an exciting time to be in Dallas and Texas in general; with a booming economy, new hotels in the pipeline and corporate headquarters of several Fortune 500 companies relocating here, it will certainly change the landscape quite dramatically over the next few years.
What was it about Wilson Associates that attracted you?
Wilson Associates is the standard bearer of luxury design in the hospitality world and the firm is rich in history – the company was founded 40 years ago. I’m very excited to not only to be part of this legacy but to have the opportunity to continue a new one.
Could you talk a little about your design background and experience up to this point?
I have a theatre background mainly focused on designing theatrical sets and directing plays. I’ve found design and theatre to be very similar. Choreographing moments on stage is akin to artfully crafting spaces in design. We map out each area and create different emotions for the guest to feel as they discover each space. Hospitality provides the “perfect script” compared to other industries because of its multitude of spaces for entertaining, drama and emotional connection.
How would you describe your design approach or philosophy?
Simple. Intuitive. Human-centred. I always approach design with something fresh, something new to say and to add to the design dialogue.
What do you feel will be the central issues or challenges affecting the hospitality design industry in the coming years?
Originality. We are flooded with endless choices and instantaneous references that it becomes a challenge to create uniqueness. Each place is like something we have seen somewhere or an amalgam of other inspirational places. The challenge for the design industry is to cut through the noise and produce something original and local that truly resonates with the guest.
What has been your proudest moment as a designer, thus far?
Each day is a proud moment to be able to do something you love doing, to do it with meaning and to see the profound effect it has on others. A proud moment is when a client is ecstatic with the end result, not just because you created a beautiful space and hit their budget etc., but because you truly understood what they needed.
What are you working on at the moment, and have you got any upcoming projects you’re able to tell us about?
I’m currently working on the new hotel guest room and suites for the Hard Rock Hotel in Seminole, Florida. The building is designed to appear like back-to-back guitars, and the interior is something that will be just as memorable and iconic to attract the next generation of Hard Rock guests.
What do you like to do with your downtime?
What’s downtime? Hospitality is something we live with 24/7. We travel, eat, drink, host, converse, relax and sleep!
Joking aside, I do believe time is really precious. Each moment is an opportunity to experience and learn something new about others or about yourself – time with family and friends is no exception!