NEW FOR 2019
DESIGNING THE ZODIAC COLLECTION
An interview with Roger Thomas
I’ve been a hospitality designer 40 years. My job is not to pick the prettiest things in the world and put them together in a really beautiful way; my job is to create an emotional experience composed of drama and mystery and humor and intrigue and delight. As far as my budget will extend, I insist that nearly every single component that goes into my projects be completely unique and custom. I think light is one of the key qualities of design.
IT BEGINS WITH A DRAWING
I was intrigued with imagining a way to reflect light into a room without showing the light source. It needed to be that romantic wonderful source of reflected light, the source of that warm wonderful magical glow in the room. I started thinking about how to completely conceal the light source but bounce it back into the room. I had worked on and distilled a group of drawings, and I got what turned out to be twelve good ideas that I was proud enough to show to Jay. [Jay Sweet is the CEO of Boyd Lighting]. We initially chose the name “Zodiac” because of the twelve drawings. My husband is very into astrology and so I hear these names a lot. There were twelve drawings and it seemed perfect, so I named each one of the designs after the signs of the Zodiac. We narrowed twelve down to three pieces, but the Zodiac idea stayed.
30 YEARS OF COLLABORATION
Designing for companies is not just "Roger says build this." It has to be highly interactive with the personalities in the company. I'm not the only one making selections and suggestions. I depend on the integrity and the in-depth knowledge and experience of my partners in the company to realize the designs.
I think Boyd's realized-versions of the designs equaled my imagination.Better. It's better than my vision, in a way, because it has this beautiful handmade presence in the room. I'm always after that "candlelight glow" which I think all of these fixtures have beautifully.
A lot of people who stay in hotels would be amazed at how the product consistency can degenerate when your order is 2500 pieces, from the first piece coming out of the factory to the last. You can't always count on product consistency. I can always count on consistency with Boyd.
When I'm trying to keep all of these balls in the air, and I've got 2500 rooms and a couple of million square feet of public space, I can sleep well when I work with Boyd. That's why I have been working design with Boyd and Jay Sweet for over 30 years.