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In late November, more than 3,600 gathered at London’s Business Design Centre for Sleep Event 2013, Europe’s leading hotel design and development conference. HKS’s Luciano Mazza was a featured panelist for a sold-out session on The Asian Century, focusing on Asian hotel guests, investors and hoteliers, one of the fastest-growing and vital market segments for the European hospitality industry.
More than 200 architects, interior designers, hotel operators and investors attended The Asian Century session, participating in a lively discussion, making the session one of the most successful at the conference. Mazza served on the panel with Javier Hortal, project leader EMEA for Mandarin Oriental, James Soane, director of Project Orange, and Andrew Linwood, head of design at Areen Hospitality.
Mazza, a vice president based in HKS’s London office, offered his experience and insight by comparing varying design approaches between Western and Asian hospitality brands. “A European designer can be successful and effective when he or she has a deep understanding of the market, client, and Asian guest,” said Mazza. “It’s all about capturing and encapsulating the true spirit of Asian hospitality when we design for an Asian brand, whether in Europe, Asia, or beyond.”
Mazza discussed how designers can successfully adapt their own methods on a case-by-case basis, balancing the clients’ desires with an architects’ personal touch. He stressed the importance of collaboration and creativity when designing new projects.
“At the base of everything there must be a great humility and an even greater curiosity. Bringing an open mind to learn, listen and understand a particular culture, region, and way of life is key to begin a meaningful design process; the curiosity to explore and grasp variegated architectural languages is the tool to operate in depth,” said Mazza. “When these aspects are combined with the technical knowledge of how the various components of a luxury hotel or resort work, it’s possible to achieve outstanding and appropriate results.”
Mazza is currently designing hospitality projects in China and India for Asian clients, and has worked with Shangri-La on three residential projects in Paris.