Since the lines between design disciplines continue to blur, Hospitality Design magazine decided to celebrate the best of all types of design and the people behind it. That’s how the HD Elevate conference was born in 2018. It’s an inspiring day of TED-like talks and discussions as we explore what’s happening today and what’s in store for tomorrow.
Part visionary, part social scientist, and part businessman with a gift for integrating art and commerce, Ian Schrager has chronicled an unequivocally successful cultural narrative, from legendary Studio 54 to the advent of the boutique hotel concept. With new openings for his affordable luxury brand PUBLIC, several luxury residential developments in New York, a visual essay of Studio 54 with Rizzoli, a documentary film on Studio 54, a memoir, and 21 EDITION hotels in the global pipeline in partnership with Marriott; Schrager is the original “original.” Given his hunger, curiosity, ambition, and fearlessness to take on uncharted territory, he may be saving his best for last.
With over 40 years of hands-on industry experience, Joyce Bromberg is a workplace management expert specializing in human-centered design, setting the standard for how employees interact with their work environment. As chief design officer at Convene, she conducts the critical human-centered research that guides the company’s business and marketing strategies, and informs overall design of Convene spaces and customer experience. She is also the founder and principal of The Bromberg Group, an innovation and design consultancy in New York. Prior to that, she was the director of research for Steelcase Inc., focusing on retail banking, future of the role of physical space in knowledge management, and a worldwide study of Generation Y and its impact on the workplace. She also served as Steelcase director of design which she has received multiple awards for showroom and trade show designs for, and was lead developer of community-based planning, a space-planning methodology and web-based tool set. She lives in Manhattan with her husband of 50 years and their Irish Doodle Rosie, is the mother of twins, and a doting grandmother.
Entrepreneur Jon Staff sees the mission of his hospitality company, Getaway House, as “life balanced.” And, his getaway cabins do exactly that, allowing guests to take their time to rest and unplug from the daily hustle and focus on self, relationships, and the wonder of the nature outside. Providing a counterbalance to the noise created by cities, technology, and work, the Getaway model is based on building tiny houses, placing them on beautiful rural land, and renting them to city dwellers looking to disconnect and recharge.
Creator and innovator Michael Vasku merges technical and artistic endeavors in his architectural practice Vasku & Klug, which he founded with Andreas Klug in 2011. Collaborating with clients on architecture, interior design, and exhibition architecture projects, Vasku focuses on the central concept of “total design”, which means overseeing every detail, from lighting to graphics, and even media. His philosophy is simple: A comprehensive presence through all planning and production stages ensures a project’s totality, bringing it together seamlessly with a perfect connectivity. Vasku is also the creative director at innovative lighting company Preciosa, where his work presents a limitless platform for experimenting with form and function in light.
Driven by a desire to address the spatial implications of our rewired culture of learning, play, and life, architect Ashley Marsh joined the nonprofit MASS Design Group in 2018, which embodies a mission to research, build, and advocate for architecture that promotes justice and human dignity. As a veteran facilitator and engagement strategist who has worked across a spectrum of sectors, Marsh brings deep experience in human-centered user research and the built environment. She was also a part of the writing team behind The Third Teacher, one of Fast Company’s best design books of 2010, and mentioned as one of the rising stars in San Francisco Business Times’ “40 under 40 San Francisco” in 2017.
Isenberg Projects, Isenberg’s Boston-based creative strategy and experimental marketing agency, has grown into one of the Northeast’s top firms for exciting pop-up activations since launching in 2012. With extensive experience in event marketing and production, Isenberg has overseen and led creative activations for many large-scale corporations, institutions, universities, and brands, including Jamestown Properties, Harvard University, the City of Boston, Mass Development, and Kanye West.
As the senior vice president of design of Equinox, Richter has been overseeing the development of all Equinox clubs and renovations since he joined the luxury gym brand in 2008. Richter’s prior portfolio before Equinox include experiences at top-notch retail and hospitality brands like W Hotels, Nike, and Ian Schrager Company, which provided him with an extensive global experience on a variety of projects on high-end boutique hotels, mixed-use developments, luxury residential buildings, and retail. In addition to handling all Equinox clubs, he has also been an integral part of the brand’s hotel development team, as well as setting the conceptual direction for Blink, the budget-friendly spin-off of Equinox.
Principal & President of Provenance Hotels, Wali is a connector, reformer, and reframer in the industry. With 20 years of hospitality experience and an indefatigable passion for creating memorable experiences at each of his hotels, he works tirelessly to connect talent across the sectors while on the constant lookout for places where authentic is a way of life. Since joining the Portland, Oregon-based brand in 2006, Wali has been responsible for the development and management of more than a dozen hotels that make Provenance’s portfolio, and creating experiences “that make people feel respected and cared for,” he says.