Vote now: Radical Innovation finalists

Radical Innovation, conceptualized in 2006 by The Hardy Group, is an annual award competition that has been shifting the norm in the global hospitality industry, by recognizing excellence in design, architecture, travel and products. The initiative challenges creative thinkers and design visionaries at the professional and student level to pioneer compelling innovations that fuel the future of hospitality. Voting is officially open for the 17th annual competition.

Radical Innovation collected more than 100 entries split amongst the four categories: Professional Project, Student Project, Professional Product and Student Product. The Professional Project finalists are SPINHOUS by Populous and The Turtle Bungalow by Luxury Frontiers. These two companies competed against each other in the year 2020, when Luxury Frontiers won with Camp Sarika by Amangiri, this is the rematch. Vote now on the Radical Innovation website to determine. The Project Finalists will present their concepts, and the winner will be announced at the Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner on Oct. 24th in NYC.

The Radical Innovation jury had the challenging responsibility of handpicking the finalists based on the innovative nature of their vision, the excellence of their design and the project’s feasibility and capacity to make a substantial impact on the industry. These finalists were chosen by a panel comprised of distinguished experts in hospitality, architecture and design.

This year, Radical Innovation has reinforced its commitment to the hospitality industry by enhancing the Advisory Board, welcoming 32 distinguished individuals representing various facets of the industry. Radical Innovation extended the invitation to join the Project Jury to Christina Zimmer, the SVP, design at Highgate, and Raj Chandnani, the EVP & chief development office of WATG and Wimberly Interiors. Christina and Raj have joined the esteemed panel of industry luminaries, John Hardy, the founder/chairman of The Hardy Group; Claude Amar, the managing director of The Hardy Group International; Ellen Brown, the EVP of Fulcrum Hospitality; Mark Friesen, the principal of Beyer Brown & Associates; Michael Medzigian, the chairman & managing partner of Watermark Capital Partners; Damien Perrot, the global chief design, technical services and innovation officer – Accor Premium, Midscale, & Economy Brands at ACCOR; and James Woods, the principal of Kompany Holdings.

In addition, Radical Innovation is honored to have hospitality visionary John Edelman, president/CEO of Heller, join the distinguished Product Jury. Edelman’s expertise complements the veteran jurors, including John Hardy, the founder/chainman of The Hardy Group; Claude Amar, the managing director of The Hardy Group International; Dan Dobin, the cofounder of Valley Forge Fabric; Issac Kubryk, the CEO/founder of Global Allies; and Vito Lotta, the VP of architecture & Design at Hilton.

2023 Professional Project Finalists

SPINHOUS | Populous | Joel Mbala-Nkanga | U.S. (featured image)

SPINHOUS; Mobile Hotel for Adventurers and Remote Explorers. SPINHOUS begins from the desire to break free from conventional travel limitations by envisioning a mobile hotel that can transport guests to untouched landscapes, remote wilderness and hidden gems around the globe. This revolutionary mobile hotel concept is designed to cater to adventurous spirits and intrepid explorers who seek unique experiences in remote locations. This innovative accommodation solution combines the convenience and comfort of a hotel with the freedom and flexibility of a mobile vehicle, allowing travelers to embark on extraordinary journeys without sacrificing luxury and relaxation.

THE TURTLE BUNGALOW | Luxury Frontiers | Nadine Van Vuuren, Juan Cloete, Graeme Labe | South Africa

The Turtle Bungalow, an innovative experiential accommodation project, is set to revolutionize the hospitality industry. It serves as a mobile marketing tool and fully functional hotel room, offering guests an unforgettable experience and enticing potential property buyers. Designed to blend seamlessly with its aquatic surroundings, the sleek and modern bungalow moves around the island, providing a new perspective of the current and future context. Sustainability and contextual sensitivity were key considerations in its design, with minimal impact on the site and the use of sustainable materials. The bungalow is constructed off-site using prefabricated mass timber, ensuring a low carbon footprint, and incorporates self-sustainable features such as solar panels, a desalination plant and environmentally friendly sewage treatment. Spread across two floors, it offers ample space for relaxation and features a rooftop bar, hot tub and a slide into the water.

CROSS-OVER HOTEL | TiArch Studio, Kazan State University of Architecture and Engineering| Adelina Khabibullina, Valeria Peregudova | Russia

Every year the population of cities increases, resulting in less development space for new buildings. In addition, developing on land leads to environmental degradation of cities, because there are fewer green areas and spaces for recreation. The future of cities is to utilize the air above bodies of water for development. This will not only help preserve land resources, but also create a unique atmosphere in cities, increase their tourism potential and improve the quality of life of citizens. With a universal bridge system that can fit any river width, this process can be greatly simplified, and construction costs can be reduced. The principle of such a system is that the bridge is built from stacked elements that can be easily and quickly connected in accordance with the required width of the river.

THE ROCKY HOTEL | TiArch Studio, Kazan State University of Architecture and Engineering| Nadia Shumeeva | Russia

The Rocky Hotel is a place where you can enjoy beautiful views and immerse yourself in nature. The hotel is built into an already existing mountain terrain and is environmentally friendly. The hotel is equipped with vertical communications and an elevator, which makes it accessible to all guests and allows them to conveniently move between levels. The interior of the hotel is decorated with nature, which is inextricably linked with its architecture and the bustle of the cave city. The Rocky Hotel is perfect for those who are looking for a calm retreat. Guests will be immersed in the outdoors, enjoying the amazing views and calming appeal of nature.

2023 Professional Product Finalists

THE GOURD PROJECT | Crème Design| Jun Aizaki | U.S.

The Gourd Project is a self-initiated, sustainable alternative to disposable plastic cups which clog landfills and pollute waterways. Inspired by the Japanese tradition of growing square-shaped watermelons, Jun Aizaki and the CRÈME team studied the centuries-old craft of repurposing dried gourds and how they have been historically used within different cultures. A reusable, custom-designed mold shapes the gourds as they grow, and the mature fruit is later dried and hollowed, creating a biodegradable and compostable drinking vessel while eliminating waste. The objective to raise funds for continuing the project’s development will include grower outreach, production research, scalability and selecting a biodegradable liner to make the cups sturdy enough to withstand repeated use. Their hope is that future research will yield mass-production partnerships within existing farming communities and promoting sustainable practices at a global and local level.

STOREX | StoreXapp | Sergei Mamedrzaev, Ragib Veliev | U.S.

StoreX is a fully automated robotic store for 24/7 unattended order pickup by humans and delivery robots. The growth of urban population and consumption volumes, major shifts in consumer behavior, labor shortage and sustainability challenges are driving businesses to explore smart automation solutions involving AI and intelligent robotics. By leveraging these technologies, hotels and other businesses can optimize their operations, reduce costs, and meet growing demand for faster, more personalized, and sustainable services.

2023 Student Product Finalists

H+S HEALTH SPRING| Ming Chi University of Technology | Wen Shin Zeng | China

H+S Health Spring aims to provide guests with a healthy and relaxing shower experience. In recent years, social pressures have made it hard for our bodies to relax. H+S Health Spring has a volcanic stone tank installed, which allows guests to drop herbs and essential oils according to their needs. When using the shower system, the water is dispensed with essential oils in it. Additionally, H+S Health Spring can be connected to a mobile phone via Bluetooth, so that guests can listen to music creating an overall calming experience.

PULPATRONICS| Imperial College London & Royal College of Art | Barna Soma Biro, Chloe So, Jingyan Chen, Rui Ma | UK

PulpaTronics is a sustainable radio-frequency identification tag. RFID tags are electronic circuits embedded in items for smart inventory management. PulpaTronics creates paper-only RFID tags that do not require a metal antenna or a microchip, streamlining manufacturing processes and reducing environmental impact. The tags are recyclable and cheaper than what is currently on the market. The PulpaTronic tags help retailers achieve their sustainability goals and empower customers to confidently dispose of them. The hospitality industry is already using RFID technology for item tracking, security, and access control applications, and could greatly benefit from PulpaTronics’ alternative. The improved tags could be easily integrated into the hospitality industry where temporary information storage is needed including guest key cards or wristbands.