Anyone interested in how big ideas and new technologies in the travel sector will transform the guest experience in the near (and distant) future should pay close attention to the upcoming Radical Innovation Awards. Now in its 12th annual edition, the competition and year-round community challenges designers, hoteliers, and students to pioneer compelling ideas in travel and hospitality. Earlier this fall, the organization announced three finalists, which will compete in a live pitch presentation at the New Museum in New York City on Wednesday, October 3, after which a live audience will vote to determine the grand-prize winner of $10,000 and the runner-up prize of $5,000. All of the finalists will have an opportunity to meet industry experts who can help further their concept. Check out the 2018 finalists and honorable mentions below, and click here to RSVP to the live event.
AUTONOMOUS TRAVEL SUITE
The Autonomous Travel Suite by the Los Angeles-based Aprilli Design Studio integrates transportation and hospitality through a driverless, mobile suite offering door-to-door transportation service in between a traveler’s home and destination. Within a compact hotel room environment, the suite is equipped with basic sleeping, working and washroom functions, allowing guests to be most efficient and productive while optimizing travel time. Operated and maintained by the Autonomous Hotel Chain, once scheduled online or via mobile app, a customized unit is delivered to the traveler’s door and taken to a local Autonomous Hotel docking facility at the traveler’s destination, where the unit extends into a larger parent suite. Acting as both a personal rental car and hotel room, The Autonomous Travel Suite provides both a new way of traveling and an extension of the conventional hotel experience, from the minute a traveler steps out of their home.
LE COLLINE INCANTATE
Intended to create a place of security and tranquility within the hills of Northern Italy, Le Colline Incantate is a retreat for single parents and their children facing a new family situation. The hotel provides its guests with comfortable zones and protected spaces. Designed within its landscape, the Bolzano-based Network of Architecture (NOA*) firm decided to cover the entire structure with plants alongside waterways for distinct cross-ventilation that establishes a sustainable, comfortable, and consistent temperature throughout the complex without the need of thermal insulation. The architects worked alongside a psychologist to develop a program with several therapeutic proposals including specific rooms for individual and group sessions, communal group activities, and thoughtful evaluation plans all within an inviting environment.
2018 Student Honorable Mention
The Floating Hotel is built to encourage ecotourism. The model integrates local fishing culture and tourism in an eco-hotel. Equipped with fishing cages and efficient space for production, the hotel encourages its guests to experience and participate in farming first-hand. In a shared, sustainable, floating village, tourists and locals are joined to help develop services along the river community.
ROOM EXTENSION SOLUTION (RES)
2018 Student Winner
Utilizing autonomous vehicle technology, RES is a new concept that acts as a hotel room’s extension focused on optimizing travel time, navigation, comfort, safety, and efficiency. After stepping off of a flight, travelers will be met at arrivals with a quick check-in service for RES. Inside the mobile hotel room, guests will find a full-size bed, ample storage space for luggage with cabinets and small wardrobe, and a fully operational bathroom en route to the hotel structure and docking stations. Until the passenger leaves the hotel, the vehicle is part of the overall room. Combining autonomous transport with hospitality has the power to redefine the way we travel around the world.
AQUAPONIC EXPERIENCE HOTEL
This hotel concept integrates an aquaponic system for a fully self-sufficient experience. Aquaponics is a symbiotic system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by farmed fish supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically, which in turn purify the water. Inspired by this concept, Parisian firm Varinot & Varinot Architectes created a hotel that is designed to mirror this closed, vertical system where rainwater is continuously recycled throughout the hotel. Not only does the ecosystem reduce water consumption, but it also produces in efficient quantities. The sustainable hotel offers fresh fruits, fish and vegetables in the restaurant; flowers and herbs in the bedroom; and, seaweed to relax in the spa. The modular concept can be adapted to any city, depending on its individual needs and skyline restrictions.