Project Architect and SERA Associate Gary Golla led a team of SERA employees that developed and submitted a concept for the 2011 Radical Innovation in Hospitality Award competition. The objective of this annual competition is “to discover, identify, and explore radically innovative hospitality concepts: open, in development, and/or in conceptual form.” Past winning designs have included modular hotel units that originate as mobile disaster housing, a hotel built on an abandoned oil rig, and a concept that sprinkled guest rooms in existing (non-hotel) buildings throughout a city.
The SERA team developed a concept they call re.pose: a network of hotels that mimic systems and behaviors found within nature to create a mutually beneficial environment for guests, ownership, and the core ecological communities in which they reside. The concept focuses on a biological idea called mutualism, which refers to the way different species interact so that each participant derives a sustaining benefit.
re.pose was built on an example of mutualism found in the story of the long-nosed bat and the agave plant.
The agave plant, native to Mexico and the southwestern United States, blooms in a geographic pattern coincidental with the migratory pattern of the long-nosed bat. Perfectly adapted to harvest the nutrient rich nectar, the bat also pollinates the surrounding agave, thus beginning the next generation of growth. In turn, the agave’s roots help control soil erosion and speed the recovery of degraded or damaged ecologies. Each species participates in a supportive and vital system. Biologists estimate that without mutualism in all its forms, the development of life as we know it would be set back 1.4 billion years. Learning from nature, in this sense, is honoring time-tested wisdom.
Check out the re.pose concept by clicking on the images below or by downloading the submittal.
And to give you some small sense of how the team got there, here are a couple of process photos: