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Hotel Designs

In each episode, DESIGN POD’s host Sophie Harper will welcome influential guests to share their opinions on the conversations and challenges that are shaping the design and architecture landscape. DESIGN POD is a podcast created for all interior design and architecture enthusiasts.

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Ep. 31. Design through a filmmaker's lens
Ep. 31. Design through a filmmaker's lens
Welcome to Africa, where nature unapologetically rules! In episode 31 of DESIGN POD, Editor Hamish Kilburn meets Dereck Joubert, a wildlife photographer and filmmaker who for his whole life, while working with the likes of National Geographic, has campaigned to protect wildlife conservation in Africa.To part-fund his and his wife Beverly's selfless journey, they created Great Plains, a cluster of luxury safari camps dotted across the continent. But these aren't just any camps. Each one tells a different story through design and has its own raw personality. The considered approach at the start of each development always starts the same; with Dereck and Beverly camping out under the stars, exposed to the elements, in order to take conscious steps to ensure that each property, deliberately designed to feel 'semi-permanent' – works with and not just in nature's spectacular setting.Redefining luxury through the filmmaker's lens, Dereck and Beverly's social approach to luxury travel has resulted in Great Plains African safari experiences in Botswana, Kenya and now Zimbabwe. And it doesn't stop there. The husband-and-wife team are committed not only to wildlife conservation in Africa, but, through many charities and initiatives launched and nurtured by Dereck and Beverly themselves, they also work tirelessly to offer and promote equal opportunities for those living and working in and around their camps. This took on a whole new meaning after one incident, sensitively explored on the podcast episode, that Beverly fighting for her life in hospital.DESIGN POD is brought to you by Hotel Designs. This series is sponsored by Geberit, produced by Mel Yates and hosted by Hamish Kilburn. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
Ep. 25. Capturing a deeper sense of wellness
Ep. 25. Capturing a deeper sense of wellness
Karen Stonely, artist, designer and the Co-Founder of SPAN Architecture, creates wellness and wellbeing experiences in all landscapes – from a retreat in Maine to a high-rise 'oasis' that is exciting, exuberant and 'something fresh and future-thinking for a hotel in the heart of the city that never sleeps'.This episode of DESIGN POD, sponsored by Minotti London and hosted by Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs, explores unconventional materiality, evoking unconventional sense of place and calling out 'wellwashing'. To do this, Kilburn understand's Stonely's unique approach to designing projects. "We're looking at getting the most out of a place and an experience," Stonely explains. "We want our design work to be a gift of that place that heightens your experience." One project, in particular, that cleverly captures a new and perhaps surprising meaning of wellness in its location, Times Square in Manhattan, is Hyatt Centric Times Square; a project that is best described as 'nature revealed in neon'. The other case study explored in the episode is August Moon, a completely different hospitality experience, in contrast, that is expressed as a 'secret escape from the city'; a private waterfront retreat that overlooks Maine’s Western Bay. Named by her after the Chinese mid-autumn harvest festival, the two original structures – a separate glass teahouse and a small cottage with pool – were designed by the architect, Robert Patterson in the 1960s. Other episodes in the archive that touch on wellness in design include Kilburn's interviews with Ivaylo Lefterov, Holly Hallam, Jo Littlefair, Marie Soliman and Rachel Hoolahan. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
Ep. 24. Sliding doors moments in architecture & design
Ep. 24. Sliding doors moments in architecture & design
In this episode, sponsored by Minotti London, we take a glimpse into the studio doors of Messana O'Rorke, specially to meet Co-Founder, Brian Messana. With permission from podcast host Jennie Becker, the Founder of the original podcast Sliding Doors, who editor Hamish Kilburn met while reviewing a hotel in the Douro Valley in Portugal, this episode was all about the 'sliding doors' moments of Brian's professional and personal life. Brian trained under architects Richard Meier, Thomas Phifer, Hani Rashid, and Peter Marino, working on projects including the Canal+ Headquarters in Paris, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, and the Christian Dior Paris flagship. A graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and Columbia University, he also studied abroad, in Florence, Italy, and at Les Ecoles d’Art Américaines de Fontainebleau. He has lectured on design and served on the faculties of several university architecture programs.Messana O'Rorke's projects span a wide spectrum of residential and commercial assignments in multiple geographies—city, suburb, mountain, desert, ocean. Yet even as they adapt their fundamental design vocabulary to address differences in program and context, Messana O’Rorke’s signature remains unmistakable in the ways they carve space and light. Their designs simultaneously foster both contemplation and invigoration, repose and action. There is no straining for theatrical effect, no tortured architectural calisthenics, simply a search for order, clarity, and beauty.The episode was recorded as the studio was unveiling its first monograph, celebrating 25 years of Brian Messana and Toby O'Rorke's labour of love. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.