HD Boutique

ATLANTA | With an eye to the future of hospitality design, winners of the second annual Radical Innovation in Hospitality Award were announced at the Hospitality Design Boutique Exposition & Conference (HD Boutique) in Miami Beach on September 18, 2008. Co-sponsored by the John Hardy Group and Hospitality Design magazine, the Radical Innovation in Hospitality Award is a design competition intended to discover, identify and explore radically innovative hospitality concepts by tapping creative, competitive and entrepreneurial instincts. Winners were selected from juried finalists by real-time, popular vote among hospitality professionals attending HD Boutique. More than 40 projects from around the world were submitted for the award by hospitality brands, design and consulting professionals.

The grand prize award of $10,000 went to Morris Architects for the radical concept of developing the Gulf of Mexico Oil Rig Platform Resort Spa & Aquatic Adventure project. WATG received a $5,000 award as runner up for e | merse, an inclusive social network concept designed specifically for travelers. In addition, honorable mentions were given to the Extreme Birding hotel concept submitted by Morris Architects and to The Wind Tower energy-producing hotel submitted by Richard Moreta of Richard Moreta Architecture and John Naranjo of MRA Design. Danielle Meyer received a judges' special award for Pagoda, which she designed while she was a student.

"Innovation deserves a platform," said Michelle Finn, vice president of the Hospitality Design Group (HD Group). "This award offers a glimpse of what is truly cutting-edge thinking. At Hospitality Design, we believe that creativity and innovation will drive the future of our industry. What seems radical now may one day be considered mainstream."

This year's grand prize recipient idea by Morris Architects identified a little-known environmental issue of obsolete oil rig platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and their adaptive reuse in an environmentally sensitive manner. "The Rig Resort provides a potentially commercially viable solution to an environmental hazard as it provides alternative adventure travel opportunities based on a natural setting and provides new jobs previously non-existent in the area," said John Hardy, president and CEO of The John Hardy Group.

With the e | merse Network, WATG created a unique hotel that utilizes the hotel's surrounding city as its most important amenity. With a network of affiliated businesses, such as restaurants, bars, and shops, the project was designed to deliver an authentic urban experience for the new generation of travelers.

"WATG's outstanding submission was from a very bright and innovative group of young architects, planners and designers that highlights a major development trend and validates the influence of the younger demographic's current and future influence on the industry. They created the concept based on their own lifestyle needs and interests, which is the type of approach we hope to identify and foster," stated Hardy.

Finalists and winners for the past two years of the Radical Innovation in Hospitality Awards have highlighted major trends underway in the industry that will have long lasting effects. Last year's grand prize winner, The Poseidon Undersea Hotel by Jean-Claude Carme, and this year's grand prize winner, The Oil Rig Resort by Morris Architects, underscore the interest in environmentally sensitive and experimental adventure travel. The runner up last year, MoMotel by Weetu, and this year's runner up, e | merse by WATG, highlight the impact of a younger demographic traveler and its unique approach to the travel experience.

The annual competition, founded in 2007 by John Hardy, president and CEO, The John Hardy Group, and Michelle Finn, vice president, Hospitality Design Group, is open to hospitality brands, design and consulting professionals, and students. Hospitality experiences and/or projects built or un-built are eligible for entry. All submissions that meet entry criteria are judged in several rounds of jury voting until four project finalists are determined. From that field of four, jurors re-evaluate each project and select two finalists; popular vote among HD Boutique conference attendees determines the winner. The jury consisted of: John Hardy, president and CEO, The John Hardy Group; Claude Amar, principal, The John Hardy Group International; Michael Medzigian, founding partner, Watermark Capital Partners; Pamela Parsons, vice president, design & construction, Host Hotels & Resorts; Simon Turner, president, Global Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts; and James Woods, principal, Keen Partners.

For more information on the award, recipients and selection criteria, visit .

Hospitality Design Boutique Exposition & Conference (HD Boutique) was presented by the Hospitality Design Group, part of Nielsen Business Media, which also produces Hospitality Design Exposition & Conference (HD Expo) in Las Vegas from May 14-16, 2009 (hdexpo.com). Hospitality Design magazine presents Hospitality Design Green Day (HD Green Day) May 13, 2009, in Las Vegas, and Hospitality Design Summit (HD Summit) in Duck Key, FL, March 4-6, 2009. HD Boutique is produced in association with association partners including: International Interior Design Association (IIDA); International Society of Hospitality Purchasers (ISHP), National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ); American Institute of Architects (AIA); American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and NEWH, Inc. - The Hospitality Industry Network.

Nielsen Business Media, a division of The Nielsen Company, is a leading market-focused provider of integrated information and sales and marketing solutions, helping businesses go to market more effectively and efficiently. Serving seven major market groups, and 30 individual markets, spanning the entertainment, media and marketing, retail, travel and performance, design, and life sciences industries, Nielsen Business Media provides business-to- business products and services in print, online and in person. With 42 publications, more than 60 trade shows and 185 digital products and services, Nielsen Business Media offers insight, analysis and face-to-face contacts to help professionals better understand their markets, serve their customers and grow their businesses.

The Building Design Group, part of Nielsen Business Media, includes leading publications, events and digital offerings in the residential and commercial property design industry including DDI, GlobalShop, Commercial Property News, Contract, Hospitality Design, Hospitality Design Expo and Hospitality Design Boutique, Kitchen & Bath Business, Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, Multi-Housing News and Multi-Housing World. The group also produces publications and events in the decorated apparel and home healthcare industries including Impressions, The Imprinted Sportswear Shows and Medtrade. Additionally, three Marine Military Expositions are produced that are focused on the US Marine Corps. Nielsen Business Media is a division of The Nielsen Company.

Jim Lee
Emerald Expositions, Inc.