Editor's letter

Hospitality, health and design

Architecture and design students considering their career options now have the opportunity to develop expertise in rapidly emerging growth markets which bring together wellbeing, hospitality and health to create next generation buildings

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C ornell University has announced the launch of a new degree module in hospitality, health and design. The course will be delivered by the Cornell Institute for Health Futures, an academic centre within the New York-based university.

The move comes as a number of new sectors are emerging in the area of design and wellbeing, creating a need for graduates to have a robust grounding in these converging disciplines.

These sectors are wellness tourism, wellness communities and next-generation hospitals, health clinics and hospices.

The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) identified wellness tourism as a US$563bn market in 2016 and its research shows revenues grew from $494.1bn in 2013 to $563.2bn in 2015 – an increase of 14 per cent and a growth rate more than twice that of overall tourism expenditure at 6 per cent.

This activity is driving interest from the hotel and resort sector and spawning a new generation of accommodation options. On page 64 of this issue, we report on Hilton Hotels’ recently launched bedroom concept ‘Five Feet to Fitness’ which is bringing in-room wellbeing to hotels across the US. The company has plans to roll the concept out worldwide.

Hilton is not the first to add in-room wellbeing – Kimpton has been doing it since 2001, IHG’s Even brand is gaining ground and Westin has just done a deal with bike brand Peloton to launch in-room fitness, for example, but Hilton’s scale and reach show the idea is gaining traction and being taken increasingly seriously by investors.

Wellness communities are also a focus for investment, with significant developments taking place globally in terms of both gated communities and more accessible, affordable developments for the wider market. The addition of wellbeing to residential real estate is adding up to 25 per cent to its value.

Hospitals and hospices are beginning to collaborate with the wellbeing sector to improve the experience for patients, with the creation of more holistic environments which focus on speeding up the healing process, improving outcomes and creating more compassionate end of life care.

With all this activity creating new markets and opportunities, architects and designers who are early adopters in this area of expertise can expect to ride a wave of growth and students who train and qualify in these disciplines will be sought after.

Liz Terry, editor, CLAD @elizterry

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