Radical Innovation, an initiative that challenges creative thinkers at the professional and student level to pioneer compelling innovations in travel, hospitality, and architecture, has identified trends years before they are brought to fruition. For the past 15 years, the jurors have reviewed concepts such as, glamping, hotels in space, drone travel and more. In 2009, Pixel Hotel was brought to the jury, a concept to rent your home as a hotel alternative. Pixel was the Airbnb concept, six years before Airbnb hit mainstream. A selection of these projects are detailed below; Poseidon Undersea Resort, Wind Tower, Pixel Hotel, MORPHHotel, Space View Inn, Autonomous Travel Suite and Game Hotel. Each one of these innovations has become part of our everyday world years after it was introduced to the Radical audience.
“Radical Innovation has been discovering and spotlighting visionaries,” explains John Hardy, Founder of Radical Innovation and Chairman and Founder of The Hardy Group. “Many of the entries that we review represent major industry trends way ahead of their time, and years before they are introduced to the marketplace, some before they even seem feasible.”
The competition connects design visionaries to industry decision makers, promoting exceptional collisions of creative thinking with business acumen in hopes to enhance and grow the hospitality and travel industries. Through an international network of talent and a call for entries, the concepts are discovered and brought to a global stage. Industry leaders nurture the ideas, make introductions, award cash prizes, connect students to scholarship opportunities and aim to bring the concepts to fruition.
Radical Innovation has received submissions from more than 55 countries, including student winning entries from Poland, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Russia, China, and Taiwan. and professional winning entries from prestigious design and architecture firms, such as HOK, Arno Matis Architecture, INDIDESIGN, Cooper Carry, Populous, and more.
Submissions for this year’s competition closed on July 11, 2022. The winners will be announced in October 2022. Visit radicalinnovation.io for submission details, awards, and scholarships.
Year 2007: Poseidon Undersea Resort, submitted by designer Jean-Claude Carmer
Poseidon Undersea Resort was presented as the world’s first underwater hotel, expected to be built in a lagoon near a private island named Poseidon Mystery in Fiji. The hotel was to be located 40ft underwater and spread across an area of 5,000 acres. Seventy percent of the structure was to be made of acrylic glass, with 51 suites and villas, restaurants, a fitness centre, a spa, and other facilities. Providing all the comforts, convivences of a five-star resort.
“15 years ago, Poseidon was a great example of eco-tourism and social responsibility and ESG long before it became an important business initiative. Guests would experience a beautiful natural environment and contribute financially through their hotel fees to replenish the ocean reefs that are suffering due to climate change and ocean pollution. Poseidon would also have grown coral as part of the resort to be utilized to replenish the reefs.” Says John Hardy
Year 2008: The Wind Tower, submitted by John Naranjo of MRA Design in partnership with Richard Moreta of Richard Moreta Architecture
The Wind Tower was artfully designed to offer both intensive functions and an attractive natural environment, expected to consume less energy than a comparable conventional hotel building. The Wind Tower is an architectural habitation; people existing in harmony with the natural environment, while being energy efficient. The tower reduced energy consumption and environmental impact, while reducing running costs, creating a more pleasant living, recreation, and working environment.
“This submission came to Radical in 2009, years ahead of its time. The Wind Tower was the first example, we are aware of, where the sustainability components of the structure are integral with the basic design concept and not subcomponents or add on features. If this could be accomplished, it would open an entirely new world of opportunities to expand design and sustainability.” Says John Hardy
Year 2009: The Pixel Hotel, submitted by Metro 1 Properties in partnership with Carl Hildebrand of Pixel
The Pixel Hotel submission was operating in Linz, Austria in 2009. The deconstructed traditional hotel model won the competition, earning the $10,000 grand prize. The group of architects leased and renovated functioning real estate, creating guestrooms in six locations across the city’s urban core—for example, they built a room in an art gallery and one on a boat—to give guests a new way to experience the city firsthand.
Does this concept sound familiar? Of course, it is similar to Airbnb, six years before Airbnb hit mainstream. “Pixel was a more interesting concept, using the city of Linz as their lobby and then distributed unique lodging properties as their rooms, allowing travelers to experience non-traditional locations within the city rather than typical tourist locations. All reservations and guest communications were on-line.” Says John Hardy
Year 2012: MORPHotel, submitted by student Gianluca Santosuosso, now with Uoou Studio
MORPHotel is an entire Ecosystem on water, moving all the while at a pace slower than the average velocity of a boat. The ‘Floating Hotel System’ designed for experiencing an endless journey to explore the depths of the world and its uncharted territories. The concept is plausible with its self-sufficiency and the ability to float with the ocean-currents. Conceptualized in the form of a Spinal Cord, it has several capsules accommodating residential and recreational facilities, interconnected linearly. The vertebral Spine is approximately one kilometer in length with high amount of flexibility providing to the structure an adaptive quality. The MORPHotel thus flaunts an ability to change its shape according to the weather conditions and the surrounding site morphology.
“Over the past few years, floating hotels have been introduced in various worldly locations, such as Serbia, Vietnam, Tanzania and more. The functioning hotels are a new concept and have begun small in size. We are confident that this is the start of a much larger hotel chain, such as the MORPHotel.” Says John Hardy
Year 2016: Space View Inn, submitted by UNLV student Juan Orduz
Space View Inn is a form of space travel that focuses on principles of transcendence and inclusion. Current space structures are small, confined spaces not conducive to enjoyable travel experiences. Space View Inn proposed using an expanded truss system to support and add boundaries to a main spherical volume, allowing guests to experience incredible views as well as microgravity. Additionally, the concept proposed a more inclusive, democratic form of space travel with a lottery system that would make the experience possible for all individuals.
In the recent years, travel to the moon by people other than astronauts was introduced and various publications report that a hotel titled “The Voyager Station” will open in space between the years 2025 and 2027. “We learned a valuable lesson with this submission. Just because a concept does not yet exist and seems very far off in the future, there is no reason for doubt and to not keep an open mind about the possibilities of innovative concepts. This submission is a great example of believing in the future and not just what you know is possible now.” Says John Hardy
Year 2018: Autonomous Travel Suite, submitted by Steve Lee of Aprilli Design Studio
The Autonomous Travel Suite integrates transportation and hospitality through a driverless, mobile unit operated by the Autonomous Hotel Chain – a hotel room on wheels. The driverless mobile suite could fit up to five people, equipped with a sleeping area, washroom facilities, a space for working or entertaining, and a small kitchen. Once scheduled online via mobile app, a customized suite is delivered to the travelers’ door and taken to a local docking facility at the traveler’s destination, where the unit extends into a larger parent suite.
In 2021, self-driving cars were brought to the market and will be integrated into our daily lives over the next decade. This submission was introduced to Radical in 2018 and the jury is confident that this is the way of our future. Imagine traveling for business or pleasure, not having to stop for restroom breaks, being able to sleep while in motion, complete work…what more can you ask for?
2021 Game Hotel, submitted by Adelina Abdullina, Kazan State University of Architecture & Engineering, Russia
Game Hotel, 2021 Student Winner was the precursor to hotels in the Metaverse. Last year when Adelina submitted her futuristic hotel to Radical Innovation, her concept was unheard of, today, well known hospitality brands, CitizenM and M Social are building pixel hotels for avatars to visit in the Metaverse. The MGM Grand in Las Vegas currently offers VIRTUAL REALITY, powered by Zero Latency. Guests are transported to a completely interactive digital universe, where they can compete and fight together.
Game Hotel offered the same concept as VIRTUAL REALLITY, by providing users with a unique opportunity to delve into another world using virtual and augmented reality. Users can live and play various games, interacting in space with other visitors.
About The Hardy Group
The Hardy Group is a strategic, transformational development services firm for investors and brands engaged in hospitality real estate. Leveraging its international expertise, the group delivers feasibility analysis, project management, development management, and construction management, as well as project accounting for capex, renovation s, redevelopment, and new development for both individual deals and entire portfolios. The Hardy Group is recognized as the leader in providing creative solutions to complex building challenges, tapping its diverse team, using proprietary project research and planning, and specialized in-house software that tracks progress and budget conformance. The firm excels as a bridge between the ambition of its clients and project realization, having managed more than $7 billion in development-related assignments encompassing 1200 hospitality projects in 36 countries. Offices are located in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Honolulu.