HotelChatter: Even though you have an extensive design CV, this looks like your first hotel design project. What was it like designing with a hotel guest in mind?
Morag Macpherson: It's different to thinking about a private home - there will be many thousands of different people coming in and out during the year - so maybe that is why the designs are so diverse and vibrant - there's something in there for everyone! It also reflects the diversity of New York City.
HotelChatter: Can you tell us a little more about the headboard design? How did you come up with these patterns?
MM: The patterns are from an existing collection of natural, organic shapes - influenced from African tribal adornment to local plants and fauna where I live - I call this collection 'The Masculine and Feminine in Nature'. It was spotted at ICFF 2010 by Vennie Lau of VLDG.
Ed. Note Vennie elaborated more on her choosing of this design saying:
The textile design corresponded to the overall "allegory" concept with a great respect to nature and union square park that drove many design decisions. The play of whimsy, use of natural materials (wood floors, wood for the millwork), glass, stone etc is evident throughout the guest room.
The design brings in a nature inspired aspect but is presented in an unexpected manner (hence the allegory playing through). The pillows are "hung" much like artwork and is the accent color source in the somewhat earthy black and white monochromatic room.
HotelChatter: What does the process for making these headboards involve?
MM: My brief for the headboard designs was a seasonal theme of Spring Summer and Autumn Winter as two separate panels. I was given a free reign and deliberately asked to be wild with my depiction. So I've juxtaposed, overlapped, broken in two and generally mixed all the designs and colorways together for a very bright, bold and vibrant feel.
I hand-render these shapes then repeat and colour on computer ready for digital printing. The digital printing process is a dream for designers who don't want to be constrained by limited colour palettes and how much line and shape they can overlap - so it was perfect for this project.
Design, fabric supply and printing has all been undertaken in the UK so it is a very British product.
HotelChatter: Why reversible headboards?
MM: The design being embedded into the headboard was an unusual choice and works fantastically in the otherwise minimal rooms. This idea was created as an alternative to having a painting or other wall art attached to the wall. All the design in the room is part of the bed!
Being reversible gives this novel idea a further edge and allows for the designs to match the changing seasons-- allowing the room to change with the seasons, so to speak.
HotelChatter: Since beds are undoubtedly the most important part of a hotel room, what was the overall design concept for these hotel rooms?
MM: To embed the 'art' within the bed itself leaving the room to function simply, with no other fuss.
[Photos: Morag Macpherson and Hyatt Hotels]