Rex Rogosch’s Take on the Future of Hospitality Design

Episode #195 the Wingnut Social Podcast

The Coronavirus pandemic brought to light many things that were lacking in the hospitality industry that will need to change. Rex believes you’ll begin to see different rules and regulations—and hospitality designers will need to know these things. What are the easiest materials to keep clean? How will social distancing change design? What temporary changes will become permanent? In this episode of Wingnut Social, Darla, Natalie, and Rex take a deep-dive into the future of hospitality design. 

Rex Rogosch is an award-winning interior designer and the creative director at Darla Powell Interiors. Rex has over 20 years of experience in hospitality, including the architectural side of hospitality. He’s worked with commercial, restaurants, casinos, and hotels and is known for his eye for detail and completing design projects in an exquisite fashion. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [0:54] Rotten potatoes + the Mandalorian 
  • [2:27] Badges on TikTok
  • [5:41] All about Rex Rogosch
  • [9:27] Rex’s experience in hospitality design
  • [10:27] Why go into hospitality design?
  • [11:38] How the hospitality industry is changing
  • [13:07] Will hospitality move smaller?
  • [17:21] How to keep your design timeless
  • [21:25] Technology in the hospitality industry
  • [23:50] The impact of virtual events on the industry
  • [26:16] The psychology of the host + user
  • [30:20] What up Wingnut! Round
  • [38:23] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Rex Rogosch

Resources & People Mentioned

How the hospitality design industry is changing

Rex emphasizes that designers in the hospitality industry have to be at the forefront of change. Regulations are changing at the state and local levels. So designers need to stay up-to-date on local requirements and think creatively. They must engage with their clients and brainstorm unique ideas. 

Designers often rely on the architect to know these things, but Rex points out that you can‘t rely on someone else’s knowledge. You need to know. Some clients will want to adhere to the bare minimum requirements and throw up a plastic sheet. Others will want to build plexiglass dividers. Rex emphasizes that you will see a multitude of extremes until things even out. 

Rex is a huge proponent of technology. He thinks it will play a huge role—and not just in the sense of doing things virtually on your computer. He thinks a step toward microband and antimicrobial materials will become more prominent in hospitality design. You’ll see fabrics that are bleach-resistant. 

Most people don’t know that porcelain tiles exist that have coatings on them so when water touches them it releases ozone into the air. Why? It blocks out the chlorine smell at pools. He believes these types of products will become more widely available in the market. That tech will show up on a more global scale at a better price. 

The psychology of the host + user

With hospitality design in general, you have to look at how people interact. Part of your job is to visualize how you want to move people through a space in your design. You have to look at how your design choices will impact people. Humans like to feel cozy and secure. How do you make them feel that when the closest person is 10 feet away? 

Rex points out that you should look at a building like it’s its own city. Look at the psychology of the host and the user: What is it that you want them to experience? Look at new ways of giving them experiences that are enjoyable—but safe. What about creating rooftop gardens? It’s good for the environment, it’s outdoors, and allows you to socially distance. What do you want your buildings to convey in a respectful and insightful way? Designers can help hotels and other venues reinvent their spaces. 

When the ADA first came out, people didn’t know what they were doing. Now it’s common knowledge and practice. This is our next ADA. Rex shares ‘I look at requirements that are happening now and am like, “Why weren’t we doing this in the beginning? Why weren’t we doing these things that seem like common sense?”’ Why did mass hysteria point out what we should’ve been doing in the first place? 

For the full discussion on the future of hospitality design in this post-COVID world, listen to the whole episode!

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social


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