Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Bravo-Smith

Manuela Bravo-Smith

Senior Designer - Hospitality, Carrier Johnson + Culture

From a very young age, as early as five or six-years-old, Manuela Bravo-Smith knew she wanted to become an architect. Born in Mexico City and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, Ms. Bravo-Smith has experienced the tangible and visual contrast between communities through time. Through travel and contact with various cultures, she has had the opportunity to reflect on how others see and experience new places. She has been influenced by her parent's background: her mother's simple and calm farm lifestyle, and her father's demanding career as a civil engineer in what was the biggest city in the world at the time. After completing a five-year architectural degree program from the Guadalajara University's CUAAD (University Center of Art, Architecture and Design) in 1997, Ms. Bravo-Smith began her professional journey from working at job sites to a project management position at an international engineering company, and finally to her current position with Carrier Johnson + CULTURE. The journey also led her to leave her native Mexico for Monterey in 2002, and then to San Diego in 2004. Working with well-established and respected architectural firms, Ms. Bravo-Smith has been exposed to a variety of domestic and international projects, ranging in building type from hospitality and mixed-use residential to corporate. While maintaining her architectural background she segued into the interior design field, and has been focused primarily on the hospitality sector since 2009. Working on four- and five-star hotel projects, Ms. Bravo-Smith works to elicit a unique personality for each project, rooting the design of each in the regional environment and historical context.

Please visit http://www.carrierjohnson.com for more information.

Ms. Bravo-Smith can be contacted at 619-239-2353 or web@carrierjohnson.com

Coming up in November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.