If I was asked to name the single objective that sums up the design advisory services we offer, it would be designing for revenue generation. Everything else follows: engaging environments for guests, exciting restaurants offering great food, worldleading retail brands and memory-making moments. However, you can have each of these components and still not generate the revenue to make the enterprise a longterm success. The secret to achieving this lies, I believe, in combining these elements and many others in a considered and holistic design where all the distinct parts are in harmony like the mechanism of a watch and together are greater than the sum of their parts.
To my mind, if you are designing a commercial development, there is simply no point in creating a beautiful space if it doesn’t make money. The purpose of design should be as much linked to strategy as it is to aesthetics. It is about making guests feel something and do something; it is not about how something looks unless how it looks makes it fit for the purpose for which it was intended.
I particularly enjoy developing the business model as an early part of our design process. There is a methodology to this. In large resorts, for example, it is key to activate the guest journey appropriately from arrival to guestroom, meaning such factors as space adjacencies, nodes of interest and travel distances must be considered. All the spaces need to work together as an overall experience but there is a huge and diverse audience to please and there needs to be something for everyone.
There is another factor as well. Just as the individual cogs, wheels and springs of a resort need to work in support of one another, so do all the members of the project team. A collaborative team is far more likely to deliver a resort that is successful from day one and goes on to enjoy profitable longevity.
I often liken my role to conducting an orchestra – introducing and harmonising teams of architects and designers, leading my own design team, working with visionary artists, liaising with Michelin star chefs, negotiating with luxury retail brands and overseeing the fit-out teams on site.