Want to know what’s going on in the mind of design wiz Karim Rashid? The icon behind the “sensual minimalism” that’s defined work from resorts to tape dispensers dishes on his philosophy and upcoming work below. Want to know more? Don’t miss the chance for deeper insights at Rashid’s BDNY keynote speech on Nov 13, which will also feature a panel discussion from some of the brightest minds in the C-suites of hot lifestyle brands. You can also chat with Rashid at the BDNY opening reception at 583 Park Ave on Nov. 12. For tickets, go here—this is one time where FOMO is totally valid.
What’s your view on where design is headed in 2017?
I don’t like trends and buzz and I dislike the word style. The digital age has given us this oversaturation of images that only portray a small porthole into our shrinking world. ‘Trending’ is making many designers imitate styles. So for example ‘industrial chic’ is everywhere and we end up seeing very little originality. Design must be more about contemporary culture and less about style and trend. My words for the last 20 years are Technorganic, Infosthetic, Digipop – aesthetics and vernaculars that echo our digital world.
What are the most exciting projects on your boards?
I’m working on three interiors of hotels in Norway, a ground up 500 room hotel in Amsterdam, a multi-use hotel and condo tower in Rotterdam, a hotel in Poznan, Poland, and Hannover as well as four new restaurants in Abu Dhabi, Tangier, Bahrain, and several condominiums in Miami, NYC, and Holland.
I am excited for my new hotel, Temptation Resort & Spa Cancun (featured in Boutique Design’s July/August 2016 issue) for Original Resorts. I’ve designed hotels before but this is a fascinating subject– it is an adults only, topless optional 500 room resort. I’ve designed the building, public spaces, rooms, nine restaurants and a giant sensual pool. The hotel allows a sense of sexual freedom and being, and that in itself doesn’t exist elsewhere. My inspiration was the human body and the interaction of humans and this notion of bringing people together. When you like somebody there is that kind of connection, so I designed the spaces around the notion of connectivity. I’ll be so proud when it’s complete!
How do you feel the hospitality sector is moving design forward? What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned from the hotels you’ve designed?
The hospitality sector should focus on positive energy, heightened experiences, culture, design, and art. It is a unique temporary home that fulfils and creates new fantasies. Hotels, restaurants spas and other public spaces should be a haven to enjoy, relax, work, and engage in experiences that are memorable, unlike any anywhere else in the world. But to move forward we must stop decorating and really design. Design is shaping better experiences and not appropriating styles from the past. I think there must be a focus on functionality and all the needs that are intrinsic to our being.
I want the hotel industry to embrace the global village and to create a cosmic sense of well-being in this millennium. Design and architecture will play an important role in intensifying this reality. It can provide and maintain our enjoyment of living and nurture a direct experience with the energy and modus of the time.
What makes BDNY? HX a must-see for you? What are you most looking forward to checking out at the fair?
NYC is the epicenter of hospitality – every other building is a restaurant or hotel. But there is little innovation in interior design in New York! You feel the show can open up minds of developers and decisions makers. In NYC there is no sense of future or purpose despite the constant call for change. I can’t wait to speak directly to decision makers. I’m contributing as much as I can while I am on this planet. Any work I do must have a least some nuance of originality in it and that should be a manifesto for the hospitality sector at large. Design must evolve us – and create a beautification and betterment for society.
Beyond walking the fair, I am looking forward to seeing my new carpet designs for Loloey. They make fantastic luxury hospitality carpets. The new rugs feature a faceted pattern that is an abstract representation of the way we perceive the 3D world that we live in. Available in a rectangular form or asymmetrical, organic shape, the crystalline textile adds new dimension to any space, enlivening the room with effulgent color and character.