Art innovations that will transform the hotel of the future

Posted in Business on 24 July, 2017

Matisse Ghaddaf, co-founder of Atkya, looks at how technology affects the use of art in hospitality design and what hoteliers should look out for when it comes to determining the use of art in their hotels…

From prehistoric works in blown pigments on Antipodean cave walls to a kaleidoscope of images repeating across a canvas, and from sculptures in pottery, gold and stone to those in flesh preserved behind formaldehyde-filled glass, art has certainly changed over the millennia. What we, the public, consider to be ‘desirable’ in the world of art naturally impacts on a hotelier’s selection, but with such variety in the past and present of artistic preference, how can we know what art the hotel of the future will display?

To project forward, all we need do is to look at where the loves and likes of society are headed. Since the emergence of the personal computer in the 1980s our lives have increasingly been dominated by ever more intelligent technology. Every aspect of our existence today seems to be influenced by computer code and the hardware that houses it, so it would be logical to assume that the artistic preferences of the future would either reflect our love of tech or be determined by it. Take note hoteliers with foresight.

Can we still appreciate static art?

Our lives seem to be drawn magnetically to the immersive or the mobile these days, and, with 24/7 access to entertainment in all its forms, art’s place in the leisure sector may also shift from static installations to those that are more geared up for an audience of the immediacy age. That is why I would suggest that artworks in the hotels of the future might well be more agile and adaptive than they are today. There will always be a place for traditional art forms, for those who appreciate art as a window on the life and passions of the artist, but in the hotel of the future I can see far more personalisation at work.

Art personalisation and the Filter Bubble

Personalisation is when companies use the vast amount of information they store on us to focus their service or marketing. Google is particularly good at this. With a billion websites to search through and over 140,000 new ones added every day, they needed to find a way to keep their search facility speeds up. Personalisation was the solution. Their algorithm learns about your preferences, enabling it to reduce its search area from the entire web to a limited segment that will include all the things they know you already agree with or have searched before.

A similar system could potentially be used to determine the right art purchases for hoteliers in the future. By deeper analysis of visitor information and greater access to target audience data from the wider web, hoteliers could customise their establishments to better suit the preferences of their guests with far more certainty. And, as we can see the way technology interacts with us in other areas, projecting further into the future we may even see artwork on a digital canvas that adapts to our own individual preferences from what it has learned through analysis of our social profiles and digital footprints before we arrive. Imagine that.

A warning from a technophobe

This all seems well and good, but there is a troubling downside – a dark cloud that casts a shadow over this art utopia. With increased personalisation comes less choice, less opportunity to experience art that makes you feel uncomfortable, challenges you, or helps you experience something you never imagined it would. Because, if personalisation is taken too far, you enter an echo chamber of your own making, your own digital ecosystem, a ‘filter bubble’ where only the views, opinions, people, preferences and art that you already believe in, agree with and already like, are allowed in.

I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to art, so I believe it is something you need to experience in its many forms to fully appreciate – that within each new work you view lies an opportunity to reveal a new passion.

So, my view of art in the hotel of the future is one of personalised pieces based on a hotel’s own AI’s algorithmic analysis of you. Only I hope with all my heart that this is not taken too far…

About the author

Matisse Ghaddaf is a co-founder of Atkya, an exclusive art consultancy that numbers governments, corporations and many discerning individuals among their clientele. Their artists work in numerous mediums, and Atkya curate, create and design collections for clients across the globe.

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