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Video: Ryan Martin | Big pen, little pen

Ryan Martin is LEO A DALY’s director of design for hospitality architecture. In this short video, he discusses his passion for designing hotels that are meaningful, intentional, and tell a story. 

Video transcript:

I’m committed to providing purposeful, thoughtful, meaningful design.

People spend a lot of time in hotels. That’s a pretty profound opportunity to impact people’s lives.

But if we do our job right, and think deeply, and dream big, and challenge ourselves, that’s what makes life meaningful.

The process of discovery – it’s nonlinear for me. I love to start with a really chunky marker. And then layer onto that refinement. So the big, chunky markers are the big, ambitious, wild dreams, and then you sort of add layers to things.

It’s storytelling. And it’s like writing a screenplay, or a script for a movie. You have an idea, but there’s a back story, and then there’s also the thing that makes it work on the big screen that gets people to want to watch it time and time again. That’s kind of a lot like the hotel business in storytelling.

But then there’s also cultural influences that are important, so how we weave in abstractions of things. How we weave in modern culture, historic cultural references. How does that impact the environment we’re trying to create.

I think the worst thing you can do is go back into a sort of private environment and then just emerge with this design. Having conversations with people, being vulnerable, allowing people to look at what we’re doing and be critical, and then let’s argue about it.

For me, that exchange of ideas and energy and passion and enthusiasm about design, whether it be fashion, technology, whatever it is, that informs my process. So for me it’s a constant investigating and evaluation.

The ah-ha moment for me is when I’m excited to go there before it’s done. Is this a place that I wish already existed, and I would absolutely spend my hard-earned money and my vacation time to get there, regardless of where it is, and to go.

We know we have a compelling design, I’ll give you an example, when at the end of the presentation they stand up and clap. When you’ve touched people on that level, that’s meaningful, that’s impactful.

About the author

I’m committed to providing purposeful, thoughtful, meaningful design…if we do our job right, and think deeply, and dream big, and challenge ourselves, that’s what makes life meaningful.