Designer Q&A with Maria Vafiadis, MKV Design (Sleep Set)

With the 2017 Sleep exhibition just around the corner Design Insider had the opportunity to meet with Maria Vafiadis to interview her about MKV Design’s involvement in this years Sleep Set where there is a real focus on Loyalty.

Maria Vafiadis of MKV Design

First off, why did you want to get involved in the year’s Sleep Set? 

We have had a long association with Sleep. In fact, in many ways, we created the forerunner to the Sleep Set in a concept room that we designed for the show about seven or eight years ago. Since then, I have attended every year and have been a Conference speaker on a couple of occasions. It has been very interesting to see how Sleep has grown during this time, becoming busier, more international and, I would say, finding its feet as the European event for the hotel design sector, one that pushes forward  the boundaries of thinking and creativity a bit each year. It is also a great place to come to meet high quality suppliers, all focused on the marketplace in which we work. So, when I was approached to participate in this year’s Sleep Set, the time felt right to embrace the opportunity.

With the theme of loyalty running throughout this year’s Sleep exhibition, how have you interpreted the brief?

I think the issue of loyalty is a very timely one. Within the hotel sector, one tends to think of “loyalty” or “reward” cards, but with discounts and privileges so readily available at the click of a mouse, we had to wonder if this is a zero-end game. So, we asked ourselves about how to create emotional loyalty that goes beyond price and very soon found ourselves widening this thought beyond the hotel itself. Loyalty and love are fundamental to us as human beings. They frame our relationships with family and friends, and with our habitat. Yet, we can be profligate with our loyalties, desperately endangering the very planet on which we depend. This is very relevant to the travel and hospitality sector because for years it has taken a lot more from nature than it has given.

Do you think visitors will be surprised by the design?

Well, I suspect our set will provoke different responses in different people because it is not so much a room as a comment on mankind’s ambivalent treatment of the world, intended as a catalyst for thought. We hope it is one small part of conversations that are beginning about how our industry can play its part in enabling nature to repair while, at the same time, creating meaningful hotel experiences that engender loyalty and love. That’s why we’ve called our Sleep Set the CONSERVE

What have been the challenges of the design?

The main challenge was to offer something that felt significant and relevant – a response to the theme of loyalty that relates to the entire world.

What is your favourite feature of the design, without giving too much away?

My favourite feature is general rather than specific. It is about providing the chance to step back, and think and talk about simplicity and meaning, not just in the here and now but in terms of the legacy we are leaving to our children.

MKV Design Poster Sleep

You can see how MKV Design interpreted the brief of Loyalty at the this Sleep exhibition, 21-22 November at the Business Design Centre, Islington. 

Register for tickets here


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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