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The Set List: Trends and Insights for 2017 and Beyond

Image © Gensler

Editor’s note: this blog is the first in a series discussing trends and insights into the world around us.

“The future is already here, it is just unevenly distributed.” – William Gibson

As William Gibson rightly pointed out, no one knows exactly how the world will develop in the coming years. What we do know is that the world is evolving—and rapidly at that.

As designers who plan cities, build towers, design environments, create experiences, optimise interactions and evoke brands, it’s important to us to study people behaviours and decode the trends that will reshape the future. We are a group of people who are curious about the world around us and understand that trends are of course not limited to just one industry but bleed into all sectors of business and society.

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Speak Easy: Hospitality in the Retail Environment

In today’s competitive shopping environment, retailers are taking cues from the Hospitality industry to bring consumers back into stores.

This blog piece is based on a Q&A discussion held with guest panellists Marco P. Nijhof Head of Hospitality Strategy at Value Retail, Paul Nulty Director of Nulty Lighting specialists in Retail Lighting, Camille Lorigo Creative Commercial Development at Brand Building and Gensler designers Owain Roberts, Lara Marrero and Claire Richmond.

Hospitality has been influencing the retail industry for quite some time now—perhaps more so than any other industry, as explored during our Speak Easy series on Hospitality’s influence on our many practice areas. But it’s important to understand that retail is still changing at an incredibly rapid rate. Consumers are expecting more from their shopping experiences and the main challenge for retailers is keeping up.

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Taking Cues from Nature: How Biomimicry Can Drive ROI for Hoteliers 

Costa Rica Convention Center. Image © Gensler.

Today’s travelers expect a different standard of luxury that caters not only to their modern needs, but also to their ethical beliefs. At the same time, the idea of ‘travel’ is continually evolving, and there are more travelers now than ever before. To cater to next-generation travelers, hotels are increasingly incorporating sustainable practices into their spaces, including an innovative concept: biomimicry.

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Retail’s New Normal: Lessons from the International Retail Design Conference

Image © Gensler

A ping-pong table might seem like a curious addition to a shop that sells handbags, luggage and women’s accessories. But for the SoHo flagship store of Vera Bradley, it makes perfect sense. For starters, it speaks to the retailer’s roots: in the company’s early days, a basement ping-pong table served as a place to display patterns and fabrics. But the SoHo store’s familiar rec room accessory also speaks to Vera Bradley’s efforts to craft a memorable in-store experience, one that not only showcases their refreshed brand, but also offers an abundance of engagement. That’s why we also populated the company’s latest stores with imaginative displays of merchandise, installations by local artists and digital screens that post real-time social media content tied to the bags and accessories maker’s brand.

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The “Secret Sauce” of Restaurants: 10 Ingredients for Success

Atto Primo, Shanghai. Image © Gensler.

What makes the dining experience truly memorable? What creates the spark when you walk through the door, the ambiance once you’ve been seated at your table or the joy when you are served your first dish? Over the last 20 years, I’ve learned that restaurant design is an art. It’s never just one thing that makes a great restaurant memorable, but rather, it’s a combination of elements—from the finishes and fixtures down to the presentation of the food—that creates a meaningful experience and keeps guests coming back again and again.

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