Boutique Design - December 2019 - 79

ALL 4 ONE
AvroKO's quartet of founders/principals share a human-centric design
vision that gives them the scope to craft experiential hospitality
spaces where people will want to stay, play, work and party.
BY MARY SCOVIAK

ADAM FARMERIE

O W E N R AG G E T T ( E AT O N H O N G KO N G ) ; R AY M O N D PAT R I C K ( FA R M E R I E ; B R A D S H AW ; O ' N E A L ; H A R R I S )

GREG BRADSHAW

AS ONE OF THE JUDGES for the 2019 Gold Key awards put it, "This was AvroKO's year."

No question. Two solo Gold Key wins-one for Eaton Hong Kong as Best Eco- or Socially
Conscious Hotel and one for The Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus in New York's Hudson Yards
as Best Restaurant Fine Dining as well as and a finalist nod for the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok as
Best Hotel Luxury, a collaboration with André Fu's Hong Kong-based Studio, AFSO (Fu's firm was
the lead designer for the project; AvroKO designed three floors of F&B), showed the versatility
and the influential reach that earned this 18-year-old New York-based firm Gold Key Designer of
the Year (DOY) honors.
DOY is very much "what have you done for us lately?" recognition. It's awarded to the
studio that had the most significant impact on design from July 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019, delivered
the biggest wow for guests and clients over those 12 months and made us all wish we'd thought
of "that." In this Q+A, AvroKO's famously closely knit, more-family-than-family founders/principals-Greg Bradshaw, Adam Farmerie, Kristina O'Neal, and William Harris-talk about their
"Hospitable Thinking" process, their combined spirit of adventure, their signature blend of
off-beat sensibilities and enduring ideals and how they (and their more than 200 staff
members in their New York, San Francisco, Bangkok and London offices) use behavioral
science and environmental psychology to create the emotionally connected experiences showcased in their award-winning work.
WHAT'S "HOSPITABLE THINKING"?
KRISTINA O'NEAL (KO): Maybe it's part of our DNA as humans to want a balance of predict-

ability and delight in places where we socialize. As a design firm we typically look at the fundamentals of human nature vs. trends when it comes to creating experiences in the hospitality
world. We aim to design spaces that help people feel secure, significant and surprised during a
positive social experience, but not all in equal measure. Different markets and project types
require varying levels of each sensation. That sums up our Hospitable Thinking approach.
 
KRISTINA O'NEAL

HOW CAN DESIGNERS DRIVE SOCIAL CONNECTION?
WILLIAM HARRIS (WH): We balance moments of intimacy with opportunities to share in group

energy. For example, on the intimacy side, the performance room at Eaton is quite cozy and
relaxed. The stage is not raised, but rather level with the floor and guests' sightlines. So, there's
a sense of a somewhat egalitarian experience. There's no hierarchy between performer and
patron. The space can also be used for practicing or formal performances, making the very
nature of it casual and flexible. 
Conversely, the large atrium in the center of the hotel provides a wonderful on-high snapshot of the integrated programming in the Eaton ecosystem. Immediate transparency is also a
way to share social energy. The radio station is parked right next to one of the bars and is set in
a glass viewing box. That puts the whole operation on full display, energizing those inside the
booth and outside as well. 
WHAT'S THE NEW DIRECTION FOR FINE DINING?
WH: At the Waldorf, we created a more glamorous space to align with the brand, but we wove

WILLIAM HARRIS

in non-luxe vernaculars. We created a process-driven art studio vibe as a vehicle to introduce
DECEMBER 2019 boutiquedesign.com

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Boutique Design - December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Boutique Design - December 2019

Boutique Design - December 2019
From the Editor
Social Circles
All 4 One
Products: Lighting
Products: Flooring
Exit Interview
Boutique Design - December 2019 - Intro
Boutique Design - December 2019 - Boutique Design - December 2019
Boutique Design - December 2019 - Cover2
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 1
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 2
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 3
Boutique Design - December 2019 - From the Editor
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 5
Boutique Design - December 2019 - Social Circles
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 7
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 8
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 9
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 10
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 11
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 12
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 13
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 14
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 15
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Boutique Design - December 2019 - 18
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Boutique Design - December 2019 - All 4 One
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 79
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 80
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 81
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 82
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 83
Boutique Design - December 2019 - Products: Lighting
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 85
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 86
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 87
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 88
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 89
Boutique Design - December 2019 - Products: Flooring
Boutique Design - December 2019 - 91
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Boutique Design - December 2019 - 95
Boutique Design - December 2019 - Exit Interview
Boutique Design - December 2019 - Cover3
Boutique Design - December 2019 - Cover4
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