Luxury: What is it Today? Interview with FRAME

Interview for the magazine FRAME
Story: »Redefining Luxury?«

Your projects have been immensely popular in the spas and hotel resorts worldwide. While spas have always been a luxurious commodity the AlphaSphere Deluxe digs deeper than the usual treatments and effectively does for the mind what a facial does for your skin. Do you consider your projects as redefining luxury?

Yes! It is definitely part of my mission to give people a new understanding of – a new feeling of – what we call »luxury« today. I think space & time in abundance is the true luxury of our age. In our time, marked as it is by acceleration, pressure and tension, the wish for calm and relaxation is more and more present. To me it seems that in the middle of our high-performance-society we modern humans feel ever stronger the archaic wish for deceleration. There is simply a growing desire for re-balancing the »system«.

10 years ago for most people the term luxury was deeply connected with money – and with material things, which we could buy with money. Today more and more people – and especially people from the higher social levels which are important for the hospitality industry – start to understand, that luxury is more connected with immaterial aspects – like freedom and independence – and with your personal perception »as it is«.

In the future of hospitality we need both – because our guests need the money to pay for the holistic experience of freedom and independence. Sounds funny. But in the holistic world view it is the natural process of balancing all energies.

The AlphaSphere Deluxe offers guests a very personalized experience. It is intimate and your programs allow people to switch to a treatment that suits them. Do you think personalization is an important factor in the hospitality industry now?

It has always perplexed me that there is supposed to be something like a »truth« – or in other words »objectivity« out there. Life has shown me in various ways that this truth is a construct of our personal perception. I see that as fundamental: every person is unique. And this uniqueness manifests itself in the way he or she perceives the world – as true. By the way: Researching that fascinates me!

So everytime we treat a person individually – giving him or her the feeling that we perceive him or her as a person – we will satisfy a deep inner demand, we bring to glow an inner light in man.

Personalization and individualization is the most important factor in the future development of hospitality industry, especially in the high-end segment. Since there are already a lot of good but also many bad examples. Honesty and authenticity play an important role in this game.

How do you envisage the future of hospitality in relation to experiences provided for guests?

In a world in which our media celebrate the concentration and compression of time & space via global synchronicity, the always-on-society and perpetual communication the hospitality industry gets the chance to offer an alternative scenario. In a world in which »localization« – I mean the gut feeling in the here and now – is a rare moment, perhaps hospitality places can offer new holistic off-line experiences in the real space.

It sounds like a paradox, but with all these new media challenges of today, the analogue, the physical experience gains in importance – and with it the material place, the graspable space in the truest sense of the word. Hospitality spaces could get a new feature, a new task: to regenerate and rebalance people, by »touching« us. And we humans are best touched via our senses, because it is only via our senses that we perceive our world – as true.

In this context we anchor our HOLISTIC DESIGN concept and our Sensory Spaces for holistic experiences. Today it is no longer a case of designing spectacular three-dimensional coverings that we as humans then can not perceive in the way imagined in the model or the 3D animation ... How do I feel as a human in this space? This is the decisive interior design question of the future.

© SHA. 2015