Glenn Pushel­berg and Ge­orge Yabu, founders of de­sign firm Yabu Pushel­berg, tell us about their lat­est projects and what re­ally makes their part­ner­ship work

Singapore Tatler Homes - - STYLE -

Glenn Pushel­berg and Ge­orge Yabu first met in school in 1972—eight years later, they co-founded Yabu Pushel­berg, one of the big­gest de­sign firms based out of New York and Toronto. As part­ners in work and life, a lot of their stu­dio’s suc­cess is at­trib­uted to their cre­ative syn­ergy and their abil­ity to nav­i­gate a chang­ing de­sign land­scape. In New York for a first-hand look at Moxy NYC Times Square and the soon-to-launch Moxy Ho­tel Chelsea in the Flower dis­trict, we talk to the power duo about their in­spi­ra­tion be­hind de­sign­ing liv­ing spa­ces for this mil­len­nial-geared ho­tel brand.


The lobby lounge of Moxy NYC Times Square; the Mondo suite of Moxy Chelsea; Ge­orge Yabu and Glenn Pushel­berg of Yabu Pushel­berg; the King bed­room of Moxy NYC Times Square

What are some con­sid­er­a­tions that you have when de­sign­ing a ho­tel?

As de­sign­ers, our aim is to cre­ate en­vi­ron­ments that make peo­ple pause and have a sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence. To achieve that, un­der­stand­ing the guests’ state of mind is key to de­sign­ing the right space for them. The sub­tleties of con­nected de­tails and sym­pa­thetic use of ma­te­ri­als and mo­tifs through­out help to con­nect spa­ces and weave a nar­ra­tive.

Un­der­stand­ing the holis­tic story is an im­por­tant no­tion that in­forms how we build, de­sign and dec­o­rate en­vi­ron­ments. We ask our­selves how guests would move be­tween spa­ces through­out the prop­erty, in­ter­act with their sur­round­ings, so­cialise and re­lax to cre­ate a holis­tic vi­sion. The fun part is bring­ing this vi­sion to life and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing these mo­ments our­selves.

What were the big­gest chal­lenges you faced while work­ing on the Moxy prop­er­ties?

When we started the project, it was po­si­tioned as a mi­cro ho­tel for mil­len­ni­als, a strat­egy which worked for the brand in Europe. The chal­lenge was to rein­vent this con­cept for the North Amer­i­can mar­ket—it was fun to imag­ine a new type of ho­tel room de­signed for peo­ple with a cer­tain no­madic mind­set. We took in­spi­ra­tion from early Pu­ri­tan de­sign—the util­i­tar­ian sim­plic­ity of this aes­thetic and the no­tion of ‘ur ban camp­ing’. We looked for ways to put a mod­ern twist t o make our de­sign cur­rent, youth­ful and por­ta­ble. The in­ter­est­ing part that came from this vi­sion was cre­at­ing a host of adapt­able fur­nish­ings to make the most of the com­pact space, in­clud­ing cus­tom-made chairs and ta­bles de­signed to fold away and hang from wooden wall pegs.

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