NEW YORK, N.Y. — On October 18, industry thought leaders, designers, architects, and real estate moguls gathered at the members-only Classic Car Club Manhattan for the 16th Annual Radical Innovation award ceremony and dinner. Eran Chen, founding principal and executive director of ODA Architecture and Design, led the evening as the master of ceremonies, alongside Founder John Hardy and the jury.
The three finalists, previously selected by the design jury, flew from around the world to New York City to compete live. The presentations were followed by a question and answer session about the creativity of each project’s vision, feasibility, and potential to impact the industry. The live audience votes were combined with the hundreds of public votes submitted the week prior to determine the winner of the $10,000 grand prize and $5,000 runner-up.
Aera Vertical Resort, designed by OBMI, took home the grand prize. Eco-Floating Hotel by Hayri Atak Architectural Design Studio was the first runner-up, and Hospitality Concept-Merani by Contesi Design Company placed in second.
In addition, jury selected student design winner, Shopping and Camping, by Kseniya Krepkogorskaya & Danil Nazarov to earn $1,500 and the opportunity for an assistantship in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) Masters Architectural Program, a teaching assistantship in the University of Illinois School of Architecture, or a scholarship from the NYUSPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality.
Alongside the design winners, The Radical Innovation product jury awarded one student finalist and one professional finalist for their forward-thinking and practical products.
The Design Jury: Claude Amar, Managing Director, The Hardy Group International; Ellen Brown, EVP, Fulcrum Hospitality; Mark Friesen, Principal, Beyer Brown & Assoc.; John Hardy, President/CEO, The Hardy Group; Michael Medzigian, Chairman and Managing Partner, Watermark Lodging Trust; Simon Turner, Managing Director, Alpha Lodging Partners; James Woods, WeWork Capital Advisors; and Honorary Guest Juror, Damien Perrot, ACCOR.
The Product Jury: Claude Amar, Managing Director, The Hardy Group International; Dan Dobin, Valley Forge Fabrics; Mark Friesen, Principal, Beyer Brown & Assoc.; John Hardy, President/CEO, The Hardy Group; Isaac Kubryk, Global Allies; Vito Lotta, Hilton.
Radical Innovation is produced by The Hardy Group with support from sponsoring companies Beyer Brown & Associates, Chartres Lodging Group, Continental Contractors, DFL Legal, Hospitality Logistics, Shawmut, as well as our Education Partners, UNLV School of Architecture, UNLV BlackFire Innovation, the University of Illinois School of Architecture, NYUSPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, and 2022 media partner Sleeper.
Professional Design Grand-Prize Winner
AERA by OBM International
Timothy Peck, United States
To redefine luxury hospitality, OBMI’s team of designers from across the globe created a revolutionary concept: a vertical resort, Aera. Innovating to develop a new model for urban tourism, the team reimagined the horizontal guest journey found in traditional resorts to create a vertical destination in the middle of a city. Aera is the world’s first vertical resort that captures every resort amenity in an entirely new way. The concept embodies the same “unplugged” escape that one finds on a private island without leaving a city’s epicenter—marrying relaxation, convenience, and connectedness.
Professional Design First Runner-Up
Eco-Floating Hotel by Hayri Atak Architectural Design Studio
Hayri Atak, Turkey
The eco-floating hotel is inspired by the sea with which it is associated in the first degree in terms of form and design principle. The project will work efficiently in areas where there is a continuous and certain flow. However, the sea, which gives the structure physical and tangible power and receives the return it needs in a mutualistic form, also directs the shape of the structure with the idea of the vortex.
Professional Design Second Runner-Up
Hospitality Concept-Merani by Contesi Design Company
Luca Contesi, Georgia
The concept “Merani” is not flying tourism nor a flying hotel. The hotel can be easily removed without any ecological damage as a consequence of its presence, accompanying guests during their journey/stay—on land, in the air, and on the water. The operation system of Merani is simple: a cargo airship, instead of ISO containers, carries one detachable mini-hotel. With the ability to take off and land anywhere, the airship can carry the hotel, with guests, to places that are off the tourist-beaten track.
Student Design Winner
Shopping & Camping by TIArch Kazan State University of Architecture & Engineering
Kseniya Krepkogorskaya and Danil Nazarov, Russia (mentored by Ilnar Akhtiamov and Rezeda Akhtiamova)
Many supermarkets around the world have huge unused roofs. This student team proposed a solution to this problem by landscaping and improving the roof and creating an entertainment and glamping site on the roof of the supermarket, rethinking the traditional type of city hotel. In addition to accommodations, the “campsite” includes green areas, a cinema, and an open-air swimming pool, which makes staying at the venue even more exciting and attractive to visitors.
Professional Product Winner
Follow Me by Ocean Builders
Grant Romundt, Omer Larranaga, and Sergio Ramirez, Panama
Follow Me is a technology that was designed to make tedious tasks a little easier. With Follow Me, an NFC smart ring or another NFC-enabled device will automatically configure any compatible smart home devices in the home or room to the user’s settings as soon as they walk in. They can make a wake-up routine that will open the shades, simulate a sunrise with the lights, start the coffee maker, adjust the temperature, and turn on the music automatically at whatever time they pick. The NFC smart ring allows users to wave it over hidden sensors that will act like a switch or button. This technology could be used in hotels and resorts so that guests’ preferred settings will always be automatically applied, no matter where they are in the world so that their sleep routine is not disrupted when they travel.
Student Product Winner
BSR+ by Ming Chi University of Technology
Yu-Chieh Chien, Taiwan
BSR+ is a towel rack with the functions of air purification and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection. BSR+ can not only dry towels but also disinfect them and mitigate the spread of viruses and bacteria. BSR+ uses a microturbine to introduce and purify air, which can increase airflow and dry towels quickly. The UV lamp can disinfect the towel and slow down the growth of mold. Through the operation of power regulation, the bathroom space can maintain air circulation to achieve the drying and disinfection of the whole room.
Special Jury Award
Urban Air Mobility by AERO Ai
Osarodion “Victory” Igbinobaro, United States
As room service is slowly replaced by Uber Eats, and traditional car traffic slows those orders, this project envisions drone delivery of everything from food to medicine, to luxury items satisfying guests’ needs. Fast forward a few more years, and drones for transportation can be a part of the programming of integrated resorts. Each of these constitutes a different design change for resort architecture. Just as these mega-structures have evolved with our relationship to the car (valet, parking garage, ride-share lanes), drones as part of business operations would influence new forms of receiving/loading docks, concierge services, security, passenger queuing, and more. This project analyzes multiple sites for vertiport feasibility along Las Vegas Boulevard and provides a starting point for the largest hospitality properties in the world to plan for a drone-driven tourist experience