Regional Design versus Global

I like to travel! It quenches my thirst for new ideas and challenges my preconceived notions of how things are meant to be done. One of the keys to travel being an enriching experience is the differences that exist between the various cultures that share this planet. As designers, the first step in our work is to interpret a client’s individuality and incorporate that into the design, thus ensuring that our work is different every time, yet the quality of experience is the same.

Since globalization began as a political and corporate idea, we’ve seen an impact on culture as expressed through the work of designers. What is considered cool and modern has become an international brand that is the same in India as it is in Rio as it is in Denmark etcetera. Well-travelled, design-savvy individuals can experience that same cool wherever they go.

But I think we’re cresting in our collective notion. It’s getting a bit boring seeing the same thing over and over. Whatever happened to getting into the culture of a place, its individuality? I believe we’re about to see a resurgence in regional expression.

For hotel chain operators, that resurgence will mean transforming the corporate identity model from the current homogeneous, consistent look and feel by understanding the vibe of each location and highlighting that difference. What becomes consistent to the traveller is the quality of experience rather than a look and feel.

Jeffrey Douglas