Last week, the 12th annual Radical Innovation Award ceremony took place at the New Museum in New York City, with nearly 200 professionals in the fields of hospitality, real estate, finance, design, branding and development attending.
Three professional finalists presented hospitality concepts—Aquaponic Experience Hotel, Autonomous Travel Suite and Le Colline Incantate—live onstage along with this year’s student winner, Room Extension Solution. Finalists were chosen from more than 50 international entries based on the creativity and feasibility of their proposals.
In a live vote determined by audience members, the Autonomous Travel Suite earned this year’s $10,000 grand prize. Aquaponic Experience Hotel by Alice and Clotilde Varinot of Varinot & Varinot Architectes received the runner-up recognition, a $5,000 prize. Student winners Daniel Czyszczoń and Michał Witalis of Poland’s Kracow University of Technology were awarded $1,500 for their concept. Both students also will have the opportunity to pursue an assistantship for a master’s of architecture degree in hospitality design at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Notably, both the grand prize and the student winners emphasized the combination of transportation and hospitality, using next-generation technology to let guests take their rooms on the road. This could present opportunities for future development if these prototypes take off and gain mainstream, or even limited, appeal.
Grand Prize: Autonomous Travel Suite
The Autonomous Travel Suite, submitted by 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, optimizing travel time. Additionally, each unit runs on solar-powered energy.
Operated and maintained by the Autonomous Hotel Chain, once scheduled online or via mobile app, a customized unit is delivered to a traveler’s door and taken to a local Autonomous Hotel docking facility at the traveler’s destination, where the unit extends into a larger travel suite. Acting as both a personal rental car and a hotel room, The Autonomous Travel Suite provides a new way of traveling and an extension of the conventional hotel experience, from the minute a traveler steps out of his or her home.
“The goal of our Radical Innovation community is to create entirely new segments of the travel and hospitality industries,” said John Hardy, CEO/ president of The John Hardy Group and founder of Radical Innovation. “The Autonomous Travel Suite is the perfect example of this, utilizing sustainable technology as a travel solution that best serves the consumer of tomorrow.”
Student Winner: Room Extension Solution
The student project, Room Extension Solution, uses autonomous vehicle technology to extend a hotel room's purposes. The concept is designed to optimize 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, storage space for luggage with cabinets and s 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.
“As students of industrial design, we were impressed with Daniel and Michał’s ability to take their knowledge in technology and apply it to a hotel concept,” Hardy said.
Radical Innovation challenges the hotel industry to elevate the guest experience by calling for new ideas in design and operations. Each year, submissions are received and reviewed by a jury of hotel insiders. Select finalists present their concepts in front of industry influencers and investors during a live event where the audience votes to determine the winner. Since its founding, Radical Innovation has awarded nearly $100,000 to progressive architectural and hospitality-minded thinkers.