Yabu and Pushelberg Hotel Interior Talk

Yabu Pushelberg

One of the most high profile hospitality interior designers Yabu and Pushelberg were in London at Sleep Event to discuss their work over the years.

Despite their success over the years Yabu Pushelberg don’t want to grow the company, because they want to be involved in the design process. They say working together in projects is also more fun. They are most known for hotel design and at the moment 60-70% of their work is in hotel sector, the rest is in both retail and residential sectors.

Yabu Pushelberg tell their story how they got to know each other as students and started the business after winning an award. They like variety; and mention particularly enjoying inventing or refreshing hotel brands. At the moment they are talking to a client who is a gym owner and wants to extend to a hotel brand. Another client is a family business who want to develop a new brand.

 According to Yabu Pushelberg the low end of the hotel sector is the most interesting one, not luxury. They also like the idea of designing hostels. They point out that the exploration in the creative process is always the same. It’s important to challenge the brand. During the creative process Yabu Pushelberg have identified people types, who they use to create a narrative of how they would travel. This is useful in order to calm the client, who then knows what’s story is about.

 What interests Yabu Pushelberg is what motivates people. When designing hotels they use the knowledge of seduction that they have learned from the retail sector. Brand metaphors and clients’ personal values are important part of the design process.

 They also think about the emotional response of the guests e.g. “I feel relaxed” in the environment. In retail design they use what they have learned from hospitality. “Today retail is all about entertainment and nobody really wants to go shopping“.

Yabu Pushelberg do their own research as they travel the world constantly. They have created their own rating system for hotel stays depending how long they want to stay in the hotel. So the lowest score is 24 hours, next is a weekender and the longest is one week, which must mean a great place and service.

At the moment Yabu Pushelberg are working on Marriott’s Edition hotels. After London the next one to open is in Miami, and 2015 in New York. They reveal a few things about the New York hotel saying that special emphasis has been made to create multi-level open air terraces to create a zen like atmosphere in a hectic city.

Talking about the London Edition hotel they say that it’s success is based on a strong social scene from variety of people that reflect the culture of the city. They point out the importance of the social connectedness of the brand.

When talking about heritage hotels they emphasise how heritage can come alive by design e.g. furniture. Simply creating a beautiful renovation is not enough; heritage have to resonate with the place. Yabu Pushelberg are curious about different cultures and inspired by local aspects of culture.

In their opinion inspiration comes everywhere. Travelling and sharing information is important. They keep pushing boundaries and have open mindsets. Taking things out of context is also inspiring. They think great design is seeing something you never would have considered.

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