Gettys Group is an international hospitality design firm that specializes in interior design, consulting, branding, and procurement. They work extensively on projects in North America, South America, the Asia Pacific, and in the Middle East.
This past week was filled with much to do, and many opportunities to explore the world of hospitality design. I had a part in two projects, the Godfrey Hotel in Hollywood and the Shelby Williams HD Las Vegas booth. Each project was in a different phase of the design process, I learned, with the Godfrey Hotel being in the proposal phase and the Shelby Williams project being in the preliminary planning phase.
The Godfrey Hotels’ first location is in the River North area of Chicago, but their next hotel location is to be placed in Hollywood, California. Gettys Group was separated into different studios, with their names based on different locations within the city of Chicago and in the countries they work with. The studio I shadowed under was called Lake, which had about eight designers. These designers had created a concept for each separate focus unit within the hotel, created space plans, and specified finishes. I was able to observe the process that designers go through to prepare for a meeting of this scale. Samples had to be ordered, material trays had to be arranged, elevations had to be Photoshopped, and the concept had to be perfectly articulated before the big meeting on Thursday. The image below shows a concept board they had arranged for the different spaces within the hotel.
These concept images, surprisingly, served as large influencers of what changes needed to be made in the concept. The client-a conference room full of very active, and rather blunt participants-made very clear decisions of the direction that we should take the space in based on our concept page. At first, I thought that it had to be frustrating for the designers, because it was only a page with only concept images- it doesn’t speak for the actual design! However, by the end of the meeting, I learned that the designers use these images as a strategy to allow for conversation and growth for the design.
After the big presentation on Wednesday, it was back to the drawing board for a lot of ideas. On the brightside, they had a very clear path of what the next design should look like.
While I had the opportunity to observe the Godfrey project and presentation, I had an opportunity to actually design and plan for the Shelby Williams project.
On Monday, I was presented with the project brief. Shelby Williams, a furniture designer known for their banquet and hospitality chairs, needs help with the design of their booth at a commonly known trade show called HD. HD 2017 was to be taking place in Las Vegas this year, and Shelby Williams wanted to design a layout for their 20’x30′ booth that would best display their stacking chairs and their bars.
My job for the entire week became to create a scheme of colors and fabrics, pick the chairs that would be displayed, create a floor plan that would best display these chairs, contact fabric reps, and layout a proposal for Steve by the end of the week. We had first suggested a green palette, which I had picked fabrics and finishes for (shown below). I was given full reins on this project, so I quickly went to work to come up with a scheme that would work with Steve’s vision of a purple, blue, and gold color scheme. All of the fabric in a yardage that I had to estimate had to be in stock, so this challenged me with which fabrics I could specify.
On Tuesday, I received an exclusive look at the construction site at the Hyatt Regency at McCormick Place. An emergency meeting was called with the millwork company that they were consulting with, because their was a miscommunication between a steel support system. Gettys Group draws very in-depth details, and even the support systems of their custom cabinetry is included in their drawing sets they send out. I was given a tour of the construction site of the new restaurant, bar, and lounge.
Overall, my week at Gettys Group was an eye-opening experience into the world of hospitality design. They set up my week to allow for me to see every aspect of their job, from site visits, to presentations, to planning. This experience will help me gain a better idea of what design I want to focus on as I move forward in my design career.