Speakers revealed: global design leaders announced for Design Inn Symposium


Global designers and key performers from across Australasia have been announced for leading hotel architecture and interior design conference, Design Inn Symposium, which returns to SkyCity Adelaide on Tuesday 30 April 2024.

Damien Perrot, Accor

This year, Accor’s Global Chief Design, Technical Services & Innovation for PME, Damien Perrot, will take to the stage to share his insights into the global hotel design landscape, covering key challenges and opportunities, in a one-on-one Q&A session.

A keynote presentation by Design Partnership Founder and Principal Architect, Callie van der Merwe, will examine design for wellbeing.

View the 2024 Design Inn Symposium program

Van der Merwe, who splits his time between Sydney, Dubai and Saudi Arabia, began his career as an Architect in the early 1990s before changing over to Interior Architecture in the early 2000’s. Since then, he has completed multiple award-winning and successful commercial interior spaces all over the world with a signature philosophical approach of design for predictive behaviour.

Callie van der Merwe, Design Partnership

Van der Merwe believes design for behaviour in social spaces is achieved by firstly understanding the purpose of the given space and secondly understanding the actions and attitudes that will inhabit that space.

“This ultimately leads to more informed designs where humans behave more naturally, more intuitively and more comfortably,” according to Van der Merwe.

“Understanding and framing these behaviours leads to more delightful human experiences.”

Register now for the 2024 conference.

Van der Merwe will also join the judging panel for the 2024 Australasia-Pacific Hotel Design Awards, alongside Chada Partner and Creative Director, Juliet Ashworth, and Fender Katsalidis Principal, Angela Biddle.

Exclusive hotel design showcases

25hours Sydney is slated to open in December 2024

Design Inn delegates will get a look behind the curtain of major hotel projects with key designers and project leads talking through the journey from concept to completion.

The Interlude, Coburg

Ahead of the highly anticipated Australian brand debut of 25hours, Ennismore’s Director of Lifestyle Design, Pacific, Ellen Stenholm, and Indyk Architects Design Director, Shelley Indyk, will talk through the project and reveal what to expect when the Sydney hotel opens later this year.

Chada Partner and Creative Director, Juliet Ashworth, will take delegates on a journey behind the historic walls of HM Prison Pentridge, where a boutique hotel, The Interlude, lies.

RF CorVal Transactions Manager (Hotels), Maria Verner, will share insights into the journey to bring Marriott International’s playful lifestyle brand Moxy to the Australian market.

Moxy Sydney Airport’s design-led communal spaces

In-depth design discussions

A Breakfast Masterclass, presented by Shape, will unpack the transformation of Salter Brothers Travelodge portfolio and discuss outside-the-box thinking to maximise return on refurbishments during tough economic times.

Salter Brothers Project Director (Strategic Projects), Marie Colangelo, will be joined on stage by Shape Commercial Manager, Andrew Pickering, Stack Studio, Director, Grace Lei Guo, WMK Architecture’s Guy Blunden, and Dezign’s Mike Watson, for this discussion.  

Osborn House General Manager Max Mason and Wild Modular’s Caspar Schmidt will join HM Magazine’s Ruth Hogan for a conversation on revitalising regional accommodation for greater returns.

A host of informative panel discussions throughout the day will include a discussion on the commercial benefit of ESG, featuring hoteliers, designers and sustainability specialists; a panel on advancing accessible design to cater to a multitude of guest needs; and an F&B panel that explores the winning formula for a must-visit F&B venue: partner with a hospitality expert or go it alone?

A bathrooms masterclass, featuring key suppliers Grohe and Argent, as well as specialist designers, will examine what’s new and innovative in this space, led by Mitchell Eades Director, Samantha Eades.

Two weeks left to enter the 2024 Australasia-Pacific Hotel Design Awards

New-build hotels, impressive conversion projects and stellar refurbishments from across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific will be recognised at the 2024 Australasia-Pacific Hotel Design Awards.

The Porter House Hotel Sydney – MGallery was awarded the 2023 Paul Davis Award for the Australasia-Pacific Hotel of the Year

Enter your project now.

Entries are now open for the 2024 awards, which recognise exceptional projects – completed and opened in 2023 – that demonstrate design innovation, a commitment to sustainability design practices and deliver exceptional guest experience.

Winners across four categories – for new-build properties, conversions, refurbishments and an overall winner, the Paul Davis Award – will be announced at Design Inn on April 30.




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