Curated by Shea: June

At Shea, we pride ourselves on staying on top of what’s happening in design news so that you don’t have to—and we pull what’s smartest and most forward-thinking together to save you the time of sifting through it all. It helps us keep tabs on what’s fresh, inspiring, and happening in the world—and we make a few headlines of our own, too.

“What Restaurateurs Can Learn from Retailers” – Restaurant Development + Design:
The overall retail industry is on the upswing across the country—and not just via ecommerce. Retailers, like restaurateurs, have been adapting to new times and embracing new technologies and business models. Restaurant Development + Design looks at the similarities between restaurant and retail strategies and learnings as consumers look for more personalization and catering to their needs, and the evolution of the brick-and-mortar experience. Omnichannel revenue streams are taking precedence, seamlessly incorporating online and physical shopping. Retailers are considering their portfolios, catering the types of stores that they offer to their locations and the services most in demand, rather than rolling out a basic prototype everywhere. And creating a customer experience that’s both engaging and convenient is key, adding amenities and more experiential design for the customers who want to spend time in a space while facilitating checkout and purchasing.

“Restaurant Groups Are Flocking to Nashville” – Eater:
Nashville is in the midst of a serious economic boom, and restaurateurs are taking note—several national names have opened up shop in the city recently, or have restaurants in the works there, from Stephen Starr to Andrew Carmellini. It’s an accessible East Coast hub that’s ever-growing in terms of residents and money, with big companies opening offices that bring jobs and people, plus a booming tourism industry, and some empty spaces (both physical and in terms of offerings) for new restaurants to fill. The city’s authenticity is another draw, with priority placed on protecting landmarks and the classic foods and spots that Nashville is known for.

Star Tribune Gives Momento Its Moment” – Shea:
Momento, the new Shea-designed hotspot in the former Pazzaluna space in downtown St. Paul, gets an early visit from the Star Tribune, with raves for the casual vibes and bright space

“American Inns Are Becoming Design-Driven Experiences” – Artful Living:
Hoteliers across the country are creating boutique spaces that feel special and meaningful, more like a lavish home than a hotel. They evoke the idea of a neighborhood inn, with lobbies that feel like living rooms and nostalgia-focused designs. This piece looks at how innkeepers are creating personal experiences by mixing styles and eras to create their own, distinctly un-corporate cocktail of design—even if the hotel is owned by a bigger company with multiple locations, the goal is to make it feel proprietor-driven and individualized. While some innkeepers take the task on themselves, many look to design pros (sometimes celebrity ones) for help so that design becomes a strong focus of a hotel’s appeal, creating a true sense of luxury, fantasy, and unpredictability for guests. And these smaller hotels have the advantage of being able to reflect their cities and surroundings, echoing the local vibe for travelers to really immerse themselves.

“What the Future of Technology in the Workplace Means for Office Design and Operations” – Work Design:
The incorporation of technology in office design is more important than ever with so many companies now operating on remote or hybrid models. To help companies create office spaces that are the most productive, in line with values, and aesthetically pleasing as possible, designers need to be well-versed in the latest in workplace tech. Integrating video and speaker systems, creating adjustable lighting for conference calls, and acoustical and wiring considerations are all features to take into account. Plenty of outlets and ways to reach them are key, as is adding soundproof rooms for podcasting or calls that can function easily. In terms of operations, tech integration can help companies and coworking spaces alike run smoothly, even in this new era of work.

“Yum! and Centro Entrepreneurs Give Shea Raves on Niver Niver Land Podcast” – Shea:
The latest Niver Niver Land podcast, hosted by Tim Niver, features longtime Shea clients and friends Patti Soskin and Jami Olson. The two discuss their businesses, strategies, and the special touch that Shea has leant to their designs and success.

“At Issue: Consultants Weigh In” – Foodservice Equipment & Supplies:
Consultants in the foodservice-design and management-advisory spaces speak out on a wide range of challenges in the foodservice industry today, with reinvention being the name of the game in this decade. Efficiency is at top of mind as spaces and kitchens get smaller and labor issues (including shortages, cost, skill, and turnover) persist. Flexibility and versatility are key to making a concept work, and that’s reflected in kitchen design. And as lead times supply-chain challenges, and virtual meetings continue, designers need to communicate clearly with clients to set realistic budgets and schedules, managing expectations and bringing optimal outcomes that will result in better business. The consultants also discuss the next equipment innovations, concept refreshes and what they mean for restaurant equipment, as well as the considerations for restaurateurs to take when moving into a second-generation space.

“Is a Mass Timber Construction Boom Coming to America?” – Fast Company:
Through the lens of a new luxury high-rise in Milwaukee, Fast Company examines the influx of mass-timber-construction buildings in the United States. These buildings are being approved in more cities as they attempt to reduce building-related emissions with their construction from compressed layers of wood as columns, beams, and slats, bound by glue to create steel-like pieces of wood. Timber is a natural long-term carbon storer, and these buildings can offer better insulation and indoor air quality than their steel and cement counterparts. Timber construction is more expensive, but some costs can be offset in labor and other materials. Demand is expected to increase as contractors become more well-versed in the materials.

“A Star Chef and a Four Seasons Alum Just Launched a New Hotel Brand—Coming to Sun Valley and Healdsburg, California Next Year” – Travel + Leisure:
From acclaimed chef Charlie Palmer and Four Seasons veteran Christopher Hunsberger, Appellation is the new food-focused hotel brand opening spots in Healdsburg, CA, and Sun Valley, ID, in 2023 (a third will open in Pacific Grove, CA in 2024, and the brand plans to expand quickly along the West Coast). These culinary hotspots are ideal for the destination-focused brand—Healdsburg’s wine country and ties to food, and Sun Valley’s opportunity for chefs to create a cuisine while highlighting local ingredients and makers. The hotels will have stellar culinary programs, but will incorporate food and kitchen elements throughout their entire spaces that highlight the best of the area, and will offer classes and workshops to bring a maker mentality to the brand. Rooms will include gourmet pantries, cocktail kits and curated libraries of cookbooks, and every hotel will feature a garden and space for culinary events. The hotel designs will give them a sense of place, with use of local materials and textiles to drive a sense of community and elements and events that will draw locals as well as travelers.

“Town Hall Station Celebrates Five Years With Edina Heritage Award” – Shea:
Town Hall Station is celebrating not only its five-year anniversary this month, but also its reception of the Edina Heritage Award for Shea’s transformation and preservation of a former Wally’s service station into a neighborhood hub

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