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Wilson Associates: Shaping the World of Avant-Garde Spaces

CEO Khai Intela
Image source: Wilson Associates For nearly 50 years, Wilson Associates has been at the forefront of creating some of the world's most iconic and avant-garde spaces. From the Conrad Koh Samui to The Venetian Las...

Wilson Associates Image source: Wilson Associates

For nearly 50 years, Wilson Associates has been at the forefront of creating some of the world's most iconic and avant-garde spaces. From the Conrad Koh Samui to The Venetian Las Vegas, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and the Armani Hotel Dubai, their dynamic talent and collaborative spirit have inspired awe and admiration. With design hubs in cities like Bangkok, Dallas, Dubai, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo, Wilson Associates has established a strong international footprint.

A New Strategy for Regional Growth

Beth Campbell Image source: Wilson Associates

In an exclusive interview with Beth Campbell, the CEO of Wilson Associates, she shed light on the company's new strategy for regional growth. Campbell explained that over the past two years, they conducted an internal review of their structure. This review led to the consolidation of positions and the need for a more unified global practice. The regional Managing Director (MD) role was born out of the desire to create a strong leadership team that brings a local perspective to the renowned Wilson Associates brand. The main goal of this reorientation is to enhance the quality and unify the design vision of the company.

When it came to filling these roles, Campbell highlighted their strategy of both nurturing talent from within and seeking leaders outside the Wilson framework. In regions where they had design principals who already met the expectations of the regional MD role, they seamlessly transitioned into the position. In other areas, they sought external individuals who had a deep understanding of the regional landscape and aligned with Wilson Associates' vision for the future.

A Philosophy of Quality and Curiosity

Monika Moser Image source: Wilson Associates

As the Regional MD for London, New York, and Paris, Monika Moser shared her insights on hotel design and her role at Wilson Associates. With her involvement in hotel operations and experience participating in hotel openings, Moser highlighted the importance of team dynamics in successful projects. She described her role as a facilitator, allowing team members to work on exciting projects, fostering better design, productivity, and teamwork.

Moser identified five words that best encapsulate Wilson Associates: collaboration, diversity, creativity, innovation, and talent. She emphasized the company's ability to work seamlessly across offices, countries, and cultures. Wilson Associates stands out by leveraging the strengths of their global resources to fit each project's unique requirements. Instead of competing amongst themselves, they collaborate to achieve a common goal.

Design as a Journey of Reinvention

Darrell Long Image source: Wilson Associates

Darrell Long, Design Principal and Regional MD for Dallas, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, shared his unique journey into hotel design. Starting out with a passion for music and fine arts, he found his calling in creating museum exhibition designs before transitioning into hospitality design. Long emphasized the need for designers not to take themselves too seriously and to embrace reinvention. He believed in writing a new original story that embraces the evolution of the future and challenges the status quo.

Long's role at Wilson Associates involves ensuring the overall quality of design is exceptional. He expressed admiration for the talent in the US offices and their collective pursuit of design excellence. According to Long, what sets Wilson Associates apart is their commitment to being the best, not the biggest.

Creating Experiential Spaces

Leonard Lee Image source: Wilson Associates

Leonard Lee, the Regional MD for Singapore and Tokyo, shared his insights on hotel design and his role at Wilson Associates. With over 20 years of experience, Lee emphasized the importance of balancing the needs and visions of both the owners/developers and hotel operators. He described his role as being the "ham in the sandwich" and the challenge of finding the right balance to deliver exceptional design.

To describe Wilson Associates, Lee highlighted their innovative, dynamic, passionate, collaborative, and harmonious approach. He emphasized their commitment to crafting spaces with soul that engage the senses. Wilson Associates stands out by tailoring their designs to the location and owner's vision, creating ambiances that are subtly orchestrated.

Shaping the Future of Hotel Design

In a conversation with Isabel Pintado, Regional MD for Bangkok, Dubai, and Shanghai, and Senior Vice-President for the Middle East and Africa, she shed light on the future of hotel design and Wilson Associates' role in it. Pintado highlighted the importance of constantly challenging the status quo and developing sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions.

Despite the challenges posed by the current economic climate, Pintado expressed excitement for luxury and hospitality design. She mentioned ongoing projects like Marriott Taghazout Bay in Morocco and the Westin Hotel & Resort in Ras Al Khaimah. Pintado's dream hotel project combines her love for mountains, desert camping, and hosting dinner parties - a project that encompasses glamping and al fresco dining.

As Wilson Associates looks to the future, they aim to capture the cultural significance of cities in their designs. They celebrate trendsetting Arab contemporary designs and continue to explore new styles and cultural influences in their projects.

Overall, Wilson Associates remains committed to delivering exceptional design that creates memorable and immersive experiences for guests. With their dynamic talent, collaborative spirit, and global presence, they continue to shape the world of avant-garde spaces.