New York Hotel Designed by the Crowd

Published Jul-29-14

A crowdsourcing competition receives novel designs for the interior features of a New York hotel.

Prodigy Network, United States

The Story:

New York Hotel Designed by the Crowd One of the boons of open innovation contests is that by setting ambitious goals, participants raise their game to find solutions. We have seen it time and again in historic competitions such as the Longitude Prize and various X-Prize contests, and in the challenges that today’s problem solvers work on via innovation markets such as IdeaConnection. Open innovation contests and challenges inspire inventive minds to do great things.

The power of the crowd doesn’t always have to be harnessed for grand challenges; smaller causes can also benefit. The key thing is that no matter the the size or scope, contests can unleash an intellectual whirlwind that leads to innovation. There could be innovation contests for every type of human endeavor.

Crowdsourcing a Commercial Building

In February 2014, Prodigy Network launched a series of crowdsourcing competitions to design a hotel in New York City’s financial district. According to Prodigy this will be the first collaborative hotel in the world, “an interactive space in which the best and brightest ideas for a modern hotel experience will materialize”.

The crowdfunding for real estate platform purchased 17 John, an art deco building constructed during the 1920s and plans to turn it into a long-stay business hotel by adding floors to the original structure.

The first three competitions were for the design of a one bedroom guest suite, the design of the hotel’s public and communal spaces and the design of digital services.

Design Winners

There were 70 submissions and more than 10,000 votes were cast. Ten finalists were selected and put through their paces by the panel of expert judges. One winner was eventually chosen in each of the three different categories:

Private Space Design – the winner was the Nomad Company for Weco. This is a design of a sleek, multifunctional room where the furniture can be moved to change its function from bedroom, to office to meeting room.

Public Space Design – the winner was Pierre Levesque for HUB, a series of communal spaces including the lobby, roof terrace and ‘co-working spaces’. These co-working areas include workshops, cafeterias and spaces for relaxation, fitness and cooking classes.

Digital Experience – first place was awarded to Deeply Integrated Services for an app that integrates with the hotel’s architecture. This will enable a user to control everything in their room, check out the profiles of other guests, check-in on the go to receive an encrypted digital room key, and much more.

The three winners shared $50,000 in prize money.

Future Crowd Collaboration

Construction of the hotel won’t be completed for some time, but once it is, 17 John will be a 23-story structure with 191 apartments and studios. And the crowd will continue to have a role to play in its design and functionality.

“This will be one of many design competitions presented to the crowd and we look forward to empowering those with the greatest ideas,” said Prodigy Network founder and CEO Rodrigo Nino.

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