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Marriott Looks to MIT Students for Hotel Lobby of the Future.
By Melanie Nayer ~ Weekly Exclusive - Views On The Latest Trends
Wednesday, 3rd July 2013

Exclusive Feature: How often do you consider the hotel lobby?

Besides walking through it to get the check-in desk, how often do you actually consider what's in the lobby, and why it's there? Do you ever just stop to gaze at the design, or question the type of floor you're walking on? Or do you wonder why the concierge desk and the check-in desk are spaced a certain distance from each other?

The typical hotel lobby has been just that - typical. The check-in desk, concierge desk, usually a fresh display of flowers, people lounging on a set of chairs or sofa, and maybe even a bar area. But one group is trying to change all that.

Twenty students from Boston-area colleges were given an assignment: transform the typical hotel space into the hotel lobby of the future. The project was for MIT Mobile Experience Lab class called “Designing Interactions: Reinventing the Hotel Experience," and it was in collaboration with Marriott Hotels & Resorts, according to the Boston Globe.

The MIT class is new this year and brings together students from all disciplines - artists, designers, engineers, and social media majors. They were to present their final project to executives from Marriott International.

“We pushed students to break the boundaries of disciplines, to rethink and reinvent objects, ideas, and experiences,” Federico Casalegno, lab director, told the Globe.

The students designed a lobby fit for a new generation of travelers. A touch-screen map features the best places to eat and see in the city, tables go from traditional work stations to presentation tables with video screens, and there's a communal area with a charging mat that reveals where others at the hotel have traveled to recently, emphasizing the social media element that has become an essential hotel communication tool. 

According to Marriott executives, the designs might become reality in a Boston hotel sometime soon.

“The results were some really creative ideas that were original, imaginative, and detailed, but also grounded in functionality,” said Paul Cahill, senior vice president of brand management, Marriott Hotels, in the Globe interview. “We expect to build out one or two of the students’ ideas at hotels, hopefully in Boston.”

You can read more about the hotel lobby of the future HERE

This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from is not permitted.

Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.

Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for

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