New Hospitality Solutions Require New Materials

July 28, 2020

With more than 300 other industry experts, we’ve kicked off a unique project to examine the hospitality industry’s needs—in both the short-term and in the near future. In our work with this project, The Hotel of Tomorrow®, we’ve spent the past two months sharing research, building a gallery of inspirational ideas and collaboratively developing new concepts for hospitality environments.

A key part of these new ideas? The materials with which they’ll be built.

Material technology expert Gayatri Keskar, PhD is Head Researcher for Material ConneXion, the leading global materials consultancy. Dr. Keskar holds numerous material innovations patents, and has served as a technical advisor to both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies.

She sat down with The Gettys Group Companies CIO Ron Swidler to outline four areas of material innovation that will be key for hospitality in the coming months and years. What follows are only some of the unique materials and processes that were outlined; for the full overview, please watch the webinar below.


01 / Health and Wellness

While health is critical and top-of-mind during the current COVID-19 crisis, not all health initiatives are focused on preventing viral transmission.

Indoor air quality has an important impact on our health and wellbeing; we’re exposed to two-to-five times higher levels of pollutants indoors than outside, and many of us are spending increasingly more time inside.

HeiQ Fresh is a coating that can be applied to soft surfaces to mimic plants’ ability to break down compounds with sunlight. This process does not produce any solid biomass, only moisture, making it easy to maintain. This technology has already been embraced by IKEA in their new line of GUNRID curtains.


02 / Eco-Innovation

With a focus on the entire life cycle of a product, some of the best new approaches to creating sustainable products are those that also enhance the business’s competitive edge and economic impact on their community.

Manufacturer DESSERTO converts biowaste from cacti into a vegan leather substitute. This is an entirely new use for parts of the plant that are not suitable for human consumption—low-value waste that formerly had no other applications. The company only uses natural dyes, resulting in a collection of earthy colors that celebrates the unique origin of the material.


03 / Manufacturing of Tomorrow

Some of the most exciting material innovations are not only about a new material output, but rather the new developments in the methods used to manufacture them.

Zeoform Micro Pulp is an extraordinary material that repurposes our abundant agricultural waste. Its only components are water and cellulose that can be derived from a variety of plants—with no additional chemicals or binders. Depending on the needs of a product, the material can produced by a variety of methods that allow it to run the gamut from flexible to rigid, and from light-weight to dense. It can be sprayed to create hollow structures, or compression-molded for materials that require weight and density.


04 / Comfort

Comfort’s impact on our quality of sleep—and therefore our quality of life—cannot be understated, and is of particular importance in the hospitality industry.

Nanobionic is a soft coating made of infrared-light-emitting minerals that can be applied to any type of surface, including clothing and bedding. The minerals become activated by ambient body heat, and that energy is returned back to the body—improving circulation and helping maintain a comfortable resting temperature.


Watch the Webinar





With a passion for pioneering innovative approaches to hospitality design, Ron identifies new strategic growth initiatives for The Gettys Group Companies family of companies. His vision led to the founding of Gettys ONE—our interior design group dedicated to branded hotels—and our branding group—where he led design and strategic thinking projects for boutique properties, large industry events and international brands. He is currently leading a new phase of the Hotel of Tomorrow® Project, aimed at addressing the new needs that have arisen for hospitality in 2020 through collaborative innovation.