Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 116

hd expo

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radical innovation

workable change
The Radical Innovation in Hospitality Awards
has been a mainstay of HD Expo since 2007.
Each year, finalists present game-changing hotel
concepts, which are debated by a jury of hotel
executives and investors Shark Tank-style, and
then voted on by a live audience-this year on
Thursday, May 15th at 11:30 a.m. After seven
competition cycles and nearly $100,000 in
prize money awarded, JHG's John Hardy-the
competition's advocate and driver-is itching
to raise the stakes. He wants to see greater
feasibility in the concepts presented. We caught
up with him to hear about what's new.

next. It will level the playing field and add more
of a reality check to the competition.

What were some of your favorite
concepts from previous years?

That is like asking which one of your kids you
like the most. Most of the time, our jury tends to
agree on our favorite projects, though it doesn't
always start out that way. One of the most
interesting parts of the whole competition is the
conference calls with the jury that determine the
final three competitors-they tend to get quite
combative at times. Our jury members don't lack
strong opinions, and we don't always agree on the
contestants right away.

Tell us about your work on Radical
Innovation. Why are you driven to
stimulate change?

It's my passion. I've spent more than 30 years in
this industry as an architect and a developer, and
I've been fortunate enough to work on some of
the best projects-ones that were very difficult
to pull off-and that's rewarding for our group
and me personally. Radical is my chance to do
something larger than my own firm, working
with some of the best minds in hospitality design
and investment, and giving a chance for some
undiscovered voices to disrupt and improve an
industry that has so much to offer in terms of
guest experience.

This is Radical Innovation's eighth year.
How will the competition be different
this year?
A stricter focus on feasibility. In previous
years, we've seen lots of wild ideas relating to

What do you hope this competition does
for the industry?

repurposing structures and sustainability. We
made a conscious decision to focus more closely
on projects that could happen in the near term. If
it's too radical to be built, then it misses the mark.
We want to award concepts that could be realized
within the next three to five years, and will offer
new guest experiences and revenue streams to
the hotel industry.
For the first time, we will also team our
finalists up with individual jury members so that
they're coached and mentored prior to taking the
stage during HD Expo. We want a strong showing
with ideas that are vetted so the voting audience
can make a clear comparison from one idea to the

I think we all hope that it pushes boundaries and
genuinely leads to improvements in the industry.
For me, I'd love to know that this competition
inspired someone to design-and especially
build-projects that challenge the way things
have always been done.

Do you work with the winners to help
them develop their ideas?

More so in recent years. We make introductions
and give advice. We would love to see one of these
projects become a reality, but it's a challenge for
any project to get built. It's a mixture of the idea,
funding, and the right teams in place. In the last
25 years, the greatest innovations in the industry
came from those outside the industry-who did
not follow the norm-and who successfully took
the risk. It is our hope that Radical Innovation
can contribute to making those new experiences
a reality. hd

Jury

2013 grand prize winner: Pop-Up
Hotel by Pink Cloud, which converts
unused office space into a hotel.

116

March/April 2014 hospitalitydesign.com

John Hardy, CEO, The John Hardy Group
Simon Turner, President of Global Development,
Starwood Hotels & Resorts
James Woods, COO, The Bowls
Jena Thornton, Managing Director, Eagle Rock Ventures
Michael Medzigian, CEO & Director,
Carey Watermark Investors
Wing Chao, Founding Principal, Wing T. Chao Architect
Claude Amar, President, The John Hardy Group
International (moderator)


http://www.hospitalitydesign.com

Hospitality Design - March/April 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - March/April 2014

Contents
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - Intro
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - Cover1
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - Cover2
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 1
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 2
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 3
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 4
Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - 5
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Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - Contents
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Hospitality Design - March/April 2014 - Cover3
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