Triumph of Design Over Function – Part II

The Wall Street Journal today has an article headlined “Design: Is It All Too Much”. I’d like to think they got their idea from a post on this blog last month about functionality being forsaken for Design – or more aptly, Style. The following quotes excerpted from the article make for interesting reading:

Peter Fiell: There is a rebellion against things like boutique hotels and the fact there is so much of everything out there.

Mr. Conran: Style is important, but an item has to function properly. Still, if it a product has no style, it won’t sell.

Ms. Antonelli: The public is getting smarter — anything that is condescending they can smell immediately. I think design should be like food. You should be able to recognize immediately whether it’s a good or bad steak.

Fiell is a design historian and one can argue that it is his personal observation with the evidence in New York not bearing out his statement. But Terence Conran is the Chairman of the eponymously named Conran group. His best known work to New Yorkers is his shop and restaurant, Guastavino’s under the 59th Street bridge. Guastavino’s is a tremendous success and Sir Terence has certainly made his mark in the design world. Paola Antonelli, Curator at MOMA, sums it up succinctly. With a rash of new boutique hotels in the pipeline, an economic downturn, whenever that occurs, will surely separate the wheat from the chaff.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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