Art in Hospitality Design
Recently, I’ve been thinking about art in hospitality projects and why it’s important for owners, developers, architects, and interior designers to consider art as an essential part of a hotel design concept, not a decorative afterthought. Here are some of the best reasons, as I see them.
Art is the fundamental core of architecture and design.
Structures and spaces are as much about expression of the creative spirit as they are the physical representation of a brand’s identity. Architects and interior designers spend hours considering colors, textures, forms, etc., because of how they contribute to that identity. Art, the purest expression of creativity, can speak with at least as much impact as any flooring, wall covering, or furniture selection.
Art is the intellectual soul of the hotel.
People travel for leisure because they seek interesting and memorable experiences. Hotels embody that aspiration, that desire for something new—which is why they go to great lengths to demonstrate how they’re different. Art is fundamentally about uniqueness and offers a moment of pause and reflection. At the end of the day, people are more likely to remember a hotel’s well-displayed original photograph, painting, or sculpture than the lobby furniture.
Art is a point of community connection.
For too long, hotels have attended to travelers’ needs while offering little of interest to the surrounding community, but that’s changing. These days, there’s a focus on finding ways to engage a hotel’s neighborhood and being seen as an asset and destination for locals. Eateries and bars created by local restaurateurs are popular, for example. But art can be as powerful a draw for locals as food and drink and infuse a space with local culture, whether it’s a prominent, publicly accessible artwork (such as a mural or sculpture) by a notable person or a gallery space that showcases a rotating selection of area talent.
In short, art matters, and the hospitality industry—and by extension, the general public—benefits when hotel spaces celebrate it.