Radical Innovation Announces 2020 Winners

ATLANTA — On December 16, 2020, the 14th annual Radical Innovation Award announced the award winners virtually after a virtual finalist presentation and open vote by the attending audience. Nearly 1,000 voters took to the Radical website to vote for their favorite of the three finalists.

These three finalists were selected by a jury of hospitality and design experts that includes: Claude Amar, Managing Director, The Hardy Group International; Ellen Brown, EVP, Fulcrum Hospitality; Dan Dobin, CEO, Valley Forge Fabrics; Mark Friesen, Principal, Beyer Brown & Assoc.; John Hardy, President/CEO, The Hardy Group; Michael Medzigian, Chairman & Managing Partner, Watermark Lodging Trust; Jena Thornton, Principal, Hospitality, Kinzer Partners; Steve Tipton, VP, Serta Simmons; Larry Traxler, SVP of Global Design, Hilton; Simon Turner, Managing Director, Alpha Lodging Partners; and James Woods, WeWork Capital Advisors.

Over 80 entries from more than 20 countries were submitted to this year’s Radical Innovation competition from which three professional finalists and one student winner were determined based on their design, creativity, feasibility, and ability on making an impact in the industry. The three professional finalists—Camp Sarika by Amangiri by Luxury Frontiers, Dream Pod by Populous, and The Modern Monastery by Indiedesign—were presented virtually to an engaged audience who voted on the Radical website. In an online vote by the audience, Camp Sarika became the recipient of this year’s $10,000 grand prize. The Modern Monastery received the runner-up recognition, a $5,000 prize.

The event was produced by The Hardy Group with support from official media partner SLEEPER magazine and supporting sponsors, including DFL Legal along with educational partners, UNLV, The University of Illinois, and NYU.


Submitted by Jamie Rose Briones, Luxury Frontiers | San Francisco

Camp Sarika by Amangiri by Luxury Frontiers, San Francisco

Canyon Equity, the owner of the iconic Amangiri, charged Luxury Frontiers with designing North America’s first all-weather, year-round tented camp. The result: 10 one- or two-bedroom tented pavilions that offer guests the ultimate luxury Amangiri is known for and adventurous back-to-nature experiences in Utah’s desert landscape. Given the site conditions of sun, wind, snow, and extreme temperatures from 20° to 105° F, these unrivaled guestrooms thrive on performance and aesthetics.

Luxury Frontiers’ architectural and interior design is a contextual tribute. Thoughtfully positioned tents bow toward monumental sandstone formations. Clean lines, natural color schemes, and canvas work, distinguished by stitching and fixing details, cultivate a refined camp feel.


Submitted by Beatrice Girelli, Indiedesign | Los Angeles

The Modern Monastery by Indiedesign, Los Angeles

The Modern Monastery is a unique destination for sophisticated travelers in search of a transformative experience. Quarries are perceived as large lacerations in the landscape that alter the image of the location in an irreversible manner. This project is based on the desire to embrace rather than conceal. The process of excavation and extraction of stone has created a dramatic open space with imposing sculptural quality and a unique scale. The design showcases the vertical quality of this structure views with a concept focused on reconnecting the quarry with its natural setting.


Submitted by Joel Mbala-Nkanga, Populous | Kansas City

Dream Pod by Populous, Kansas City

The customer’s demands from the hotel and tourism industries have changed dramatically. Consumer satisfaction—the single most important metric in the industry—has taken on a whole new meaning in a world where customers are constantly seeking more personal and new experiences that they can in return share with the rest of the world. Especially with the rise of COVID-19 and the “new normal” that is to follow it, the cookie-cutter approach to hospitality and hotels is becoming more and more archaic. In a world where tourists and travelers have mounting ways of traveling to new locations, navigating while they’re there, and places to stay, Dream Pod aims to be a new experience like none available in the market—taking the idea of traveling and hoteling to the skies.


In addition to the professional design/concept winners, the prestigious jury selected one student submission from among a record number of entries this year. This year’s student winner is Moment Hotel by Jieru Lin, a recent graduate of California College of the Arts. The student winner earns a $1,500 prize and an opportunity for an Assistantship to The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Masters Architectural Program, or a Teaching Assistantship to the University of Illinois School of Architecture, and the opportunity to apply for a partial or full scholarship from the NYUSPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality.

Additionally, the winners in the 2020 Radical Hospitality Product category are: The Bruskin Glass Modular Shower by Belstone, Van Nuys, California, in the professional category, and Mio A Smart Mirror by Arda Genç, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey. Each were awarded $1,500.


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