Principal, Interior Design
Scott Carver’s Principal of Interior Design, Angela Biddle’s objective is to create unique brands and inspiring environments which celebrate a sense of place and occasion.
Having worked alongside international talent including Philippe Starck and Jade Jagger, Angela is intent on applying her fascination with the ever-changing way people live and work by taking a forward-thinking approach to design.
If you would like to know more or work with Angela, say hello email Angela at: [email protected]
As someone who has worked all over the world, including Canada, the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the Americas, what unique insights to global tourism are you bringing to Australia?
I have been privileged to not only work in these regions, but also travel extensively across these regions for business as well as leisure.
Travellers want to feel connected to their locale and seek out authenticity – be immersed, find the local haunts – to capture the true soul of a place. We are seeing more and more that people are interested in collecting experiences, not things, so if a hotel can provide a unique experience and make that emotional connection with their guest, they are more likely to achieve brand loyalty.
This is why we have seen a huge increase in the popularity of hotels which don’t fit into a traditional star rating system but instead, offer a unique experience. For example, guests now have the ability to enjoy a thoughtful nightcap of whiskey and popcorn with a handwritten note at the Hotel Indigo in Shanghai while the Virgin Hotel in Chicago hosts a free daily social hour for all guests in their Commons Club; or perhaps the promise of a guided morning run by the hotel GM and the opportunity to create a custom “rider” so the mini-bar is stocked like your favourite celebrity is enough to seal the deal at Rio de Janeiro’s Yoo2. The possibilities are now endless.
What new evolutions in the future of leisure and tourism are you excited about and why?
We are seeing an increase in branded lifestyle developments where residential and hotel has become one offering. Not only is this a sound investment model, it changes the way hotels are used. They are more and more becoming a place where people live, work and play, and an integral part of the neighbourhood – which, as a designer, is a really exciting evolution.
I am excited to see how the ‘un-hotel’ will gain traction in the marketplace. Design-led hotels like Generator and alternatives like Airbnb are nipping at the heels of hotels, particularly at the three and four-star level. This is going to create a real opportunity for hotels in this space to think about how they might adapt to the new competition and consumer.
My passion drive my ability to tap into the potential of what and how a space could be: defined by reshaping its brand story. Any project where my team and I can work with a client to reposition their brand in the market is a dream project.
Explain the focus of your career to date?
I have always wanted to create places which support or enhance the way people live and work, and it is fulfilling being able to positively influence how people experience space. As for my focus in hospitality design: the short answer is that I fell into it, really.
I’ve had the opportunity to work on several hotel and mixed-use, multi-residential projects across the Middle East. In most cases, these were large neighbourhoods or small cities which we were designing from sand with seemingly unlimited budgets and open briefs, and more excitingly, th only real parameter was to make it unique. This offered the opportunity for “blue sky design” where I had the license to create designs for hotels which offered an unprecedented level of service and luxury.
It was this region that I first started building hotel brands. As most clients were intent on operating the hotels without the support of a known brand, they relied on the Interior Design team to create the experience that would then define what type of product they would offer and what type of guest it would appeal to. I was instrumental in creating brands for four hotels as part of the World Islands off the coast of Dubai. This is where I developed my passion for brand creation and synthesis.
And what have been the main influences?
When I moved to the UK, I was heavily influenced by the range of hotels that did not subscribe to the traditional star-system, but rather offered a unique, design-led experience. Hotels such as Citizen M, the Hoxton and 25 Hours hotels were doing away with traditional amenities that would achieve a certain star-rating and instead offering luxury where it counts; from superior bed linens and designer toiletries to a great food offering and “it” bar. This new way of thinking about hotel design really resonated with me.
Working with Yoo Hotels and Resorts allowed me to draw upon my experience in the Middle East and create the Yoo Collection brand, which was about creating truly bespoke destinations of uncompromising luxury. The Yoo2 brad, which was our design-led lifestyle brand, was inspired by a new model of hotel in Europe, and addressed the needs of what Philippe Starck call the Smart Tribe people who question the traditional way of thinking, who appreciate quality, and whose values include honesty, creativity, humour and vision.