Town Hall #36 - Beyond Zero & New Possible - ASIA
Tegan Kajewski - Associate Interior Designer at LW
Stefan Krummeck - Principal at Farrells
Stephen Luk - Regional Vice President Design Services ASPAC, Head of Greater China at Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Julia Monk - Hospitality Thought Leader, Architect, Interior Designer
Ping Xu - Founder and Design Director at PH Alpha Design
(On Joe Biden...) hopefully we're going to move from a stage of political diversity to political consensus, in order to help the world move ahead in a more smooth fashion
we have an awful lot of social injustice to overcome
as we solve all these things, and resolve all these things, new opportunities are going to open up to us that we can't even imagine at this point
sustainability starts at a different level, with much bigger picture thinking, city making thinking
sustainable thinking must start at a city planning level
if we can come up with more sustainable models and better public transport, we would make a big contribution to energy consumption and reducing the country's footprint
what we do when we actually set these huge goals is that we take forward some values
we make sure that we've made some decisions which we're going to be proud of in the future
government led directions are really important and they will really be able to move the needles
we all need to commit to Zero in 2050 and then we need to realise how far behind we are
from the corporate level, you know, we are taking some moves in terms of operation and design construction
we have a fairly low leverage on pushing for better environmental conscious construct options and waste management
it is so important to push it from a government level
China can be quite amazing in that way, when someone says something, they get it done
we never be truly able to predict what the future generations will be looking for in their traveling.
what we're still not seeing at the moment, is this idea of clients actually understanding that recycled materials can still be luxurious
I think it's about changing people's perceptions about what luxury is
Mark Bergin 00:02
Hello, everybody, welcome to another Design Executive Club Town Hall. I'm Mark Bergin, the Founder of DRIVENxDESIGN, and joining me is a panel of some of the smartest people I know in the Asian market. We're going to talk today about new possibilities and the provocation of what is BeyondZero. We know that most of the G20 countries except Australia, thank you to our Prime Minister, we'll be at net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Or in the case of China 2060. And that we're seeing that that's just a compliance schedule now. What are we doing beyond that? And what are the projects that could be enabled because we have more energy than we need to go use? Could we actually clean up some of the sins of the past? Could we enable some new technologies and new economic opportunities? Julie, I'm going to get you to join me here. And let's have a little conversation about the idea that it's not going to be a smooth path to go get there. There's probably some readiness things that we have to go look at. What do you think are some of the first things we need to get in order so that we can even imagine something as audacious as BeyondZero?
Tegan Kajawski 01:13
There are a few issues that are outstanding today. I mean, obviously, COVID is the immediate problem that we have, I think we need to deal with in order to move forward on many, many fronts. I think this is a reason why a lot of people are rushing to China right now, because they've domestically been able to get COVIC pretty much under control, and they've had an incredible repair to their own domestic and internal economies. So they're able to push forward in a more normal, what in the old fashion normal fashion that we're used to, and the rest of the world hasn't responded so well. Or in many cases, hasn't responded as well, in beening able to pull their economies back together. So I think that's kind of a very immediate issue that everyone's grappling with. And thank God for the vaccine. So I think the repair is going to happen on that front, much sooner than we'd all envisioned even six months ago. I think there's a lot of political divisiveness that needs to be tackled right now. We're seeing it all over the world. It's popping up in many, many different places. As an American, I'm very thrilled that Biden was finally made the official President Elect in the United States yesterday. I thought that was really brilliant, and about time. But even then, after that happens, there's an awful long way to go. And I think hopefully we're going to move from a stage of political diversity to political consensus, in order to help the world move ahead in a more smooth fashion. We've got all of our economy to deal with. I think that's a huge barrier in where we're going. And as you pointed out earlier, the whole idea of our media, particularly our social media, is really feeding I think both the political and economic side of those things. We also have an awful lot of social injustice to overcome and to heal, I think, which is another part of this divisiveness that's going on. So yeah, I think there's a lot of issues that we need to tackle along the way. And I have a hard time picturing what life will be like after 2050 simply because I think so much will happen over the next 30 years that it's going to just take us between technology and culture and social issues. I think as we solve all these things, and resolve all these things, new opportunities are going to open up to us that we can't even imagine at this point.
Mark Bergin 03:44
Yeah, and so I think you're right. It's very difficult to imagine what a 2050 or 2060 world will look like. But what we do when we actually set these huge goals is that we take forward some values, and we make sure that we've made some decisions which we're going to be proud of in the future rather than regretful. So I think of Stephen, with some of the Hyatt projects that you've got on, are you making decisions which are actually, from a selection of materials have been the most environmentally appropriate materials that you could have, from the amount of construction waste that's coming off a site? Have you done that in the best way? We can do that, but you've got to have that vision of what the future is, otherwise you just say we'll do whatever we want. So Steven, I wonder there for yourself with the Hyatt build out program that you've got, are there underlying, you know, future vision state values that are driving your decision making that they're helping, you know, the BeyondZero position? Or is it that it's more that there's a few people who hold those values or their corporate values?
Stephen Luk 04:58
Well from the corporate level, you know, we are taking some moves in terms of from operation and design construction. You know, we've been pushing the initiatives to reduce plastic bottles, you know, moving to large format amenities, putting in water station so that we no longer you know, put in plastic bottle water. With all those good initiatives that we are looking at, but they are just really a small part of the big picture, right. But if you look at the overall construction industry which is closer to what my department works on, you know, we have in some way a fairly low leverage on pushing for better environmental conscious construct options and waste management, you know. So all that really needs is the government, whether it's local or from a G20 standpoint, setting goals and setting directions and requiring them to follow the proper construction methods, you know, reducing waste and how to not be wasteful. And, you know, taking China as an example, you know, last couple of years, the government put out programs to not in the construction, but telling people to not to waste food. You know it was very common that when you go to China and you see people at a buffet restaurant which we run, and they would all go out and grab plates and plates of food and put in the middle to share that they never finished. So now the government, some local governments even fine them in a few of the large cities. They already have been implementing no more giving out a toothbrush and shaving cream and all that stuff in the room, you have to request that when you check in. So that is really to reduce ways for people hoarding those things, like stealing them and taking them home and in the end not using them. And so just reducing. And I found that is so important to push it from a government level. And this is what China can be quite amazing in that way, when someone says something, they get it done. And I think that's something that I feel makes even a much bigger impact. And we go into like one hotel after another trying to implement, you know, water stations or waste reductions, that we have successful examples of some hotels even implementing composting system. Our Grand Hyatt Singapore has a very well established food waste management. So they collect all the food and we have it composted in our own car parking area, and then they turn it into fertilizers for organic gardens and all that. But the ideas are really small. And I think government led directions, are really important and that will really be able to move the needles.
Mark Bergin 08:25
And so you brought up a really interesting point there about the construction projects and the power that comes when there's government regulation requires certain standards. And you know, I think Stefan I'm going to ask you about this in some of your projects, because quite a few of the projects that you've been doing have been for government clients. Do they bring in the procurement process? Do they bring in standards about how much waste is acceptable waste, you know? What sorts of construction execution and build models are appropriate for them or they are they yet to focus on where those opportunities, similar to throwing out the wasteful food, where those opportunities are in the construction world?
Ping Xu 09:13
I think there has been a momentum to try to make the construction industry more environmentally conscious. And I mean, it starts off with accreditation of buildings, right. So that starts from the construction process, how to deal with waste, construction waste. How to construct without impacting on the environment too much and the surroundings. How to integrate sustainable principles into the buildings and so there is a normal accreditation system, which means the buildings are more sustainable in some form. I do think that you know, MIC is a big topic - modular integrated construction. Facade systems have been kind of in Hong Kong, for example, they have been exempted from the GFA calculation so that they do get some extra benefit. In fact developers in Hong Kong get, when they follow all these sustainable requirements, they get an extra bonus in GFA; they get 10%, extra GFA if they fulfill those criteria; some not so easy to meet. There's issues about green coverage, permeability, you know, the wind must be good, must be able to pass the building and all of this, which is only fine, I think so that's good. But to me, sustainability starts at a different level, I may have talked about this before, and that's with much bigger picture thinking, city making thinking. You know, we've been influenced by particularly London and Hong Kong, are quite similar in terms of land take quite similar in terms of population. But Hong Kong takes up 25% of land and the rest is either country parks or mountains and London is basically scattered out across the whole area. So in terms of common transport footprint, Hong Kong is a good model. And I think that sustainable thinking must start at a city planning level. And like, for example, transport energy in a city is about 30% of the consumption of a city. And in Hong Kong their power emmission is quite low because the public transport is actually very efficient. But then when you look at it, of that 30% consumption about, I don't remember the exact figure now, but 5% or so goes into the public transport systems, and about 80% is in cars, even though we only have 10% car ownage. If we can come up with more sustainable models and better public transport, I think that we would make a big contribution to energy consumption and reducing the country's footprint. I think that's where the thinking should start. And I feel from our experience that has happened and not only in Hong Kong. In China, I think this has also been embraced in many instances. For example, there's a new district being built in Chengdu called Chennai and they are the transport systems who have really put in first the public transport systems and also the infrastructure, all of this so that you would create a very, very, hopefully people centric, public grounds so people can walk. There is quite a walkable district and meant to become a walkable district. It's quite dense. So that you create densities around the transport nodes, and hence increase the the efficiency of the public transport system, and at the same time, also the convenience. So I think that is something which we can still improve a lot. And I see in the future, also with automated vehicles maybe and electric vehicles and all of this, that that can be another leap, and hopefully the consumption of cities can be put a bit more in check.
Mark Bergin 13:28
Yeah. And I think what's really interesting that you're bringing up about the density models for cities, and how that fits in from a sustainability perspective. That's another level of thinking, is how do we actually deal with the quick wins of the waste that we've got at the moment those processes? How do we build into the system that there's more? Recently we presented the London Design Awards and one of the projects that was in there was a pop up display that was actually about living on Mars. And what's really interesting when you're living on Mars, where you have to carry everything there, you want to make the built space as efficient as possible. You want to have the waste heat that's coming out from the building that that's then got a secondary effect. So those imaginative products or projects that are about living on Mars can help read and reflect on how do we go do things more efficiently on planet Earth, or the first planet as some people like to say. Ping, I want to go across to you and have a bit of a chat. When we last caught up to with you, you were talking about just the scale of the projects that you had. I was blown away at how many square meters of those retail and mixed residential that you had there. With the mandates that are coming from Beijing about 2060, are you noticing that there's changes in those build programs and there's changes in the way it's been sourced? Because we see quite a lot of wellness projects in the awards out of China. And so it says to me that wellness is a very important thing. So wellness and environment sustainability, you know, there's a chain there. How's that changing for you, or are you yet to see that flow through because these projects were initiated before those new policies?
Ping Xu 15:21
Actually, I was quite inspired by the discussion from other people around for this topic. Yes, I am working on quite a lot of huge projects. And actually, can I start from something from the .....
Mark Bergin 15:41
Yes please. And so, I'm just starting with this, you go with it.
Ping Xu 15:45
I want to compare, you know, Hong Kong and China because I just came back and I probably won't go back to Hong Kong for a long while because this quarantine, you know, policy has caused so many problems and most of my projects are in China and still on at lease not fast, but on a normal track construction and design process. What I felt is on China side everything is fast still comparing with what happened in Hong Kong. And Stephen also mentioned about it, and also everything is so convenient. So I think this convenience you know, for people hear living here has caused a new lifestyle or working style that they are chasing for fast speed for everything, more and more. For design for living, for food delivering, everything like that. Also, how about the gifts, the possibility for people to get what they need in a much, you know, good budget compared to the living in Hong Kong. So, it brings me concern about the environment issues, as everybody has mentioned also. Because they recycle the plastic bottles, but they don't recycle the plastic boxes for food. And this costs such a huge amount, such a waste. I've seen because I myself, I also asked, you know, food delivering, like from internet. I don't cook anymore at all. And every lunch where our people will spend Well many of our staff we buy food from you know, from delivering, which is very convenient. But this waste, the environment impact caused by the delivery ths actually really makes me concerned. We did a very simple thing, that we actually gave people chop steaks and spawns. So we have to say we arrange to give our staff every set of such a thing, so they at least don't have to order chopsticks and spawns from these deliveries and more. What I feel is in the next 10 years, China will still lead the you know, the economy development in the first week maybe in terms of speed, compared to the rest of the world. Maybe it's still another 10 years, but after 10 years, what will happen? Which economic body you know, the biggest, you know, fast development economic body will it be in the world? Which country? I'm not sure China will do that again. Because the source is to overspend it and because of the population, the huge revelation, it make the economy grow faster, but they also couse great impact on the environment. So I'm actually quite concerned what will happen, you know, 10 years later in China? What will happen then, and also many cities have already been over developed. There's so many houses and residential buildings or whatever buildings have been over built and over needed, this is the same. So actually what I felt is 10 years later, maybe China will get slowed down and also the agenda for the next generation. My daughter's like one of those children born after the 00, after the 90s, they have a different philosophy than our generation., We, our people, we're still looking forward to a big income, to a big resort , to get rich, but those generation they are not having the same philosophy,.They're not chasing that much anymore. Yes, like my daughter, they're thinking different things, they want to slow down, they want to chase what meaning in their life, the meaningful things for their life. So what I felt is maybe up to 10 years later, when the new generation grows up, when they dominate the industry, they will have a different philosophy, they probably will turn to more environmental concern, you know, directions even that will change that whole attitude, the whole society, to our industry. That's why looking out for our industry that our people, we're not perhaps doing more, you know, renovation or how to say, cultural or education or protection rather than new, aggressive development. So I think that there will be a change in 10 years. So if 10 years later, the whole industry will be different like this, if you're talking about 10 years later, I think, maybe the whole world will be different, will be totally different than what we are having now. So if talking about the industry, people will probably reduce their need and the environment will be there. They're demanding for the environment, for the earth and for industry. So that's what I feel by then, probably I won't be in the industry and war. I think later, I will definitely be retired, I would hope to see you know, the whole world is changing, and people are caring and doing more, rather than damaging and demanding.
Mark Bergin 22:18
I think you've hit on some really good points there. Karin Soukup from Collins in San Francisco, that she was reflecting in a previous Town Hall on the idea that we actually look down to the leaders of the future rather than look up to the current leaders, and that there's a lot of power in that, as you spoke about where will your daughter, and what will her world be. And you know, we know that in economic models that what you want to do is engage with ascending economic power, not plateauing and not decreasing. So in 20 years time, a couple of us on the call here may be in that descending period, where as the children will be actually in the ascending period. And you get that's a very interesting change that's going to happen there. So Tegan I want to bring you in here because the team at LW, you do lots of work which is about the internal experiences that people have inside spaces. And I was shocked about two years ago CBRE told me that the average tenancy is 18 months for them. And I went well, we really should be going to a hotel model because I'm sure the Hyatt has some people who have stayed in their hotels for 18 months on the trot, you know. If a business is only in a building for whether it's a hospitality business, or whether it's actually commercial office space, that's a temporary tenant, it's not a permanent tenant, you know. We're putting in marbles and we're putting in materials which are wet construction, but it's only needed for five years. That seems to me from a stainability point of view, we're a little bit out of kilter there. What are you seeing in the spaces that you're building and the requirement for people for sustainable solutions?
Tegan Kajawski 24:04
Yeah, that's a good point. And I just want to sort of comment, so Stefen was talking about, obviously, the slightly bigger picture of sort of that, you know, obviously clients now when they're building, they're getting sort of, I guess, points or sort of positive, I guess, accolades for having sustainability in the largest sort of scale of building construction. But I feel like what we're still not seeing at the moment, is this idea of clients actually understanding that recycled materials can still be luxurious. So this idea that sort of on the ground level, what we can incorporate into the interior design can be sustainable, but still can be sort of a luxurious material that as you said, can last for longer than 18 months. So I think it's about changing people's perceptions about what luxury is, what you can put into a property and perhaps this whole notion of using, not everything needs to be stone, it doesn't need to be sort of veneers that are, you know, sort of trees that are basically almost extinct, or you know that we can look to much more modern materials that are sort of recycled, reconstituted, and they can also be considered luxurious. And then I guess it's about looking at the timeframe, as you said, for these sort of turnovers of property. I mean, 18 months is quite a short lifespan. And it's, you know, obviously the amount of waste that goes into turning over, particularly, I guess, for retail, you know. Some of the restaurants in Hong Kong as well only sort of generally have a two year lifespan. So it's also about looking at how much material goes into each property. And then when it's sort of gutted, or when it's returned back to the core and then turned over again, how much of that material can actually be reused? And then how do we deal with the waste that's created from that sort of turnover?
Mark Bergin 26:07
I saw in the London Design Awards in 2019, we had a project from Heathrow T4 and it was interesting that that project there was, they were working on how did they use digital signage to go and reshape the retail space. But they were doing it on the flight by flight basis. And so the first store that I saw was a super dry store. And you go, that's going to be you know, graphics coming at you all the time, visual wallpaper or digital wallpaper. But then there was a Cartier shop next to it. And the Cartier shop had the same digital signage on the walls. But it was much more tastefully done. And when a flight was coming in from a Chinese language market, the graphics were all in Chinese, and when it was coming in from an English language market, they then changed the visual display. And I went this is very interesting. If you go think that they've considered how do they go get yield. And their motivation for doing it was actually about the extraction and yield rather than the environment. But you got a secondary impact was that there was less merchandising, point of sale cardboard,, you know, heavily printed materials that were going into the shops. So it was that small intervention there. But I suppose what I've been really interested, as I've heard from each one of you so far is, it's actually the idea that there's small interventions, they're not necessarily, you know, 100 point Helvetica black. And so Steven, you want to add in a little bit here. But that, to me is interesting. How do we get to the point where it's actually not the norm, it's actually mandatory that we have to think this way?
Stephen Luk 27:55
Well, you know what you guys were talking about in terms of CBRE, research saying that the average tenant is like 18 months, which is actually for me was a shock. Well I've dabbled in corporate interior work for the company I used to work for in New York, I felt a pretty well known corporate interior design firm, a global firm. The one thing that for example, in Hong Kong, in Asia the lease is three years, three years. But in New York it's actually much longer, it's like five to 10. So that in itself creatss systematic issues, because your lease, you lock into a lease longer and your interior fit out would actually be used for 10 years, which is a little bit more reasonable. But in Hong Kong, and most of Asia it's like three years. Before you even finish clearing, like warming up your office space, you're already moving to another space. And you know from that, well I see a lot of waste. Yes it's great for the agent, great for the landlord to keep raising the rent and making a fee out of these transactions. But then if we focus on in terms of waste and being responsible to the environment, I think that goes back to services systemic issues. Whether it is a government or a whole industry that needs to really look at that and I think that yes, I think Ping's point about the future generation is different. I think that's very true even for us. I love the time with designing hotels, we're still sort of making assumption based on current information, but we never be truly able to predict what the future generations will be looking for in their traveling. And that's, you know, it's very difficult for big corporations in general to serve, you know. It's a lot of effort to really try to tap into the future and who knows what's the future, I can't even .... you talk about 2030 / 2050, I can't think beyond two weeks. I literally cannot think beyond two weeks.
Mark Bergin 30:37
And so that's where values and goals are such an important thing. Because you know, we need an anchor, which is by the time we get to 2050 we want this Zero. And we all need to commit to that. And then we need to realize how far behind we are. So they're really important things. Ping, I know that you mentioned that you're, you know, what will be the future there. And the one thing I can recommend for your daughter, get her into the recycling of lithium batteries out of electric cars, because in 20 years time, there's going to be a flood of electric car batteries, first generation, second, third generation batteries that we need to go deal with. And they're going to be as toxic as any other form of energy storage waste product that we have out there. So we know what some of those things are Stephen, we know that there's some future debt that we've got, and that we need to go sort that out. And so there's one thing, which is how do you deal with future debt? And the other one, which is how do you go build future opportunity in future resources? And I think, Stephen, you were talking there about, well, we can avoid future debt by turning around and actually making the built space that it's using the intelligence we know about efficiency, and then the ratios have built space to natural space in there. They're important things to go do. Ping, I think in your world, the idea of being able to actually push the wellness factor that's in there, because wellness is something that people want in an ascending middle class. That's what they want to achieve. The idea of being sustainable and green, I'm not sure people want to do that, but they want wellness. You have to have sustainable and green, to get wellness. The idea is that we know how to go and actually drive these agendas here. Ping, I know that you mentioned in the previous time that you were on, that some of those retail spaces, that the outer tenancies that were closer to the natural air had changed in their desirability. You know,it used to be it was where the main traffic flow was. In comes COVID, nobody wants to be in traffic flow anymore. The ones that were closer to open air all of a sudden had a different interest from letting tenants and that's an interesting idea and that's a wellness play for me. You know if I go think of the museum project out on Kowloon, and I look at that and you go, the density of the traffic is probably where the highest rents are. But actually on the periphery where and I think it was, was one of the watch brands and they had this beautiful view that went out into the harbor and you were a little bit off the main concourse and you're going that's probably where I want to be, it felt fresher, it wasn't as busy, Have you seen that change come around, that people are trying to buy future wellness or are they still just trying to go buy the cheapest now?
Ping Xu 33:30
It's hard to get a conclusion frankly, because still I see in China different people, their habit of like for different consumers from different cities or different background actually have a different pattern. So because China is such a huge, you know population and the variety of the background of these people are different so they actually appear to have a really different pattern for this thing for the future. Some people would have a really big long dispose, spend money like spending their future money and some people would tend to be conservative. And you see the regional people sometimes appear really annoying. It's quite hard to get a conclusion but for the product I am doing there's also a dramatic changing for you know, the tenant. The tenant for like clothes for other like daily use items for these things, people tend to be more and more shopping on the internet. The project I am doing now they have difficulty recruiting the tenants for such things, for clothes, but it is very easy for F&B. So, I think in future, even our project what we are doing, there will still be more and more F&B and sceneries and you know somewhere, a space for them to hang on. For those tenants there will be more you know, more such tenants coming in for like clothes and such items there will be more and more on the internet, especially after the COVID where everybody tends to shop on internet forums. So, this I think there will be changes on such patterns, even for building for architecture development. I would say F&B would be another experiment, you know, like, consumptions where they have to visit such tenants will be a mix of treatments, will be more and more you know, the big mixed use development.
Stephen Luk 36:06
I think, probably, yes experience consumption would be probably the most important. So, it goes into thinking, you know, you mentioned about F&B, wellness would be a big part, and education or something, that space needs to become more meaningful, not just from an aesthetic perspective that it's cool, you know. Whatever is cool and pretty only somehow attracts you for the first couple of times, but the overall experience will still be very important, though. So it's almost like in the architectural mixed use development it's no longer just how much office space I can put in but know what's that space, how it is actually interacting with the outside and connecting. Those are becoming very important. And I think in China, I think Ping and Stefan probably have more experience on that,. We get involved in some of the mixed use projects. And sometimes when we look at it, you know, it's a lot more sophisticated. When we work with guys like you guys put forward good master planning plan that really thought through this things. But on the flip side, we also have come across a lot of local designers in certain countries that are still developing, and they completely still didn't get the whole importance of experience in the development.
Ping Xu 37:48
There's a changing tendency of such tenants. So everything, I think, in future, maybe all these shops have like a clothes, especially some local designer, you know, fashion shops. Actually, I saw really few people are visiting them. And I think they will in the year they will fade out, close down the actual shops, but change to be on internet. So that's changed the architectural space,we're doing. So this is the most recent changes for the year. So I think the lifestyle, living style and people, the pattern of shopping all changes in the next five years for Singapore.
Mark Bergin 38:38
Stefan Krummeck 38:39
I think ... I was going to respond to that. You know, I think it would be a bit of a shame, I think, because I believe that in our cities the kind of streetscapes and the high streets and avenues and that, is what we really enjoy and we actually quite like to walk along a shopping street and look into windows and see what's available, right without necessarily buying there maybe. But I think there's a variety of what you can see when you go in the streets, it's really enhancing our experience. I'm not sure, I hope that people don't give up on that. You know, I think yes, internet is tempting. But ultimately don't you want to feel and see what you buy
Mark Bergin 38:42
Go on Stefan
Ping Xu 39:30
It's different from Hong Kong and China. That's why I wanted to see if this could be a tendency, because it can get so unconvenient and so everything you can get from shop, from internet even like the Le Mer, the international brand. They all have internet flagship. Yes. So of course you can look around but people tend not to shop in actual shop anymore.
Stephen Luk 40:01
Basically, we even had, yeah, we have actually .... go ahead, you go ahead. You go ahead. I agree with you I still ....
Ping Xu 40:14
People still visit the mix use shopping center for all the things, not because they wanted to shop there. They probably look and will say Oh, I've seen this on the internet. If they want it to fail, how is it like they probably go have a look. And then you can still go back shopping. Or they can go into the shopping centres because they want care, okay, they want empathy, they want to meet friends. They want to experience as you said, so the space will be changing. Even if you have actual shop, I really seriously doubt how much return they can get from that actual shop. But still they get from internet. Yeah, so of course, the lifestyle will be different for the older generation. I have to say I am the kind of people who wanted to you know, spend some time hanging around as well. But I probably will not go to a mix use stop to see every shop that I can see anywhere else. But I would visit a tourist spot and all the village where they will have their handmade things, you know this. That's why I'm saying the standard shops mix use will be changing in the future.
Mark Bergin 41:25
I want to go into a conversation Julie and I have had before and I think Julie, you'll need to come off mute. Here we are in the United States, we've seen the death of the shopping mall, you know where there were shopping malls, they had a tenanted life. And then behavior changed and then they've gone. But we're seeing in high dense urban areas round transportation, around entertainment districts, that those places they have good footfall, they have good return per square meter. You know the earnings per square meter is the rule of whether they stay there or not. Julie, you've been involved with lots of projects, which are about people who are in a hospitality stay, people are after in a retail, mixed resi environment. Are we starting to see that people's behavior is, as they've got more time that they shop differently? And when they've got less time they do what Ping says, they're ordering online? But when they find a bit more time, often when they're staying at the lovely Hyatt hotel that they turn around, and that they didn't have more time to go shopping?
Tegan Kajawski 42:31
Oh, that's a tough one. Because I think that's a generational issue too. I think people are definitely going to shop online just because it's simple, they can get stuff and they can return it. They can return it the same day they get it if they need to, if they get it home, and they don't like it. So it's kind of like there's the experience of shopping, which, if you look at the difference, at least my perception of the difference between shopping malls in the US and in China is the percentage of food and beverage in a shopping mall in China is much, much higher. As a matter of fact, I used to be shocked at how much of the square footage was a lot for restaurants in China. But that's all, it gets back to this experiential thing that both Ping and Steven were talking about and Stefan as well, that people want to go and they want to have an experience about what's happening there. More so than the actual shopping or, you know, it's to kind of meet with their friends. Hopefully we can all meet again soon and have big company and you know, have big social gatherings, that kind of thing. So I think it's all going to be more about the experience. My bet is that after the experiential, we're going to move into transformational. And I think that that's kind of happening across the globe now, is that people to travel at least, you know, used to be you would travel to consume, you know, travel and buy and conspicuous consumption, you were just taking, taking, taking, taking taking. And everybody got a little bit more careful and they said they're going to curate their purchases. So they would go and they would buy the one item that they could come home and hang on their wall and show to all their friends, rather than a slideshow of 50 slides and lots of tchotchkes that they'd bring back. And then now we see all the Instagram moments and everybody wants to record what those experiences are that they're having and share those experiences with everyone else. I think that's going to become shallow, it's becoming shallow now. And people are looking for ways to travel that actually transform them or transform the things that happened around them, whether it's, you know, going and saving the gorillas of Africa. Or I went to this place called the Modern Elder Academy earlier this year, which was all about going and spending a week in a beautiful setting, beautiful hospitality venue and spending time with other people talking about how to recraft your life and you know, it's all very interesting. But I think those kind of things are going to become even more evident as we move forward.
Mark Bergin 44:53
So Tegan .....
Tegan Kajawski 44:54
By the way, if you did forget one thing - before the shopping mall there was the shopping center. With the outdoor connector between all the different shops. And interestingly, some of those abandoned shopping centers are getting new life breathed into them now that people want to be outdoor, and, you know, more involved in nature rather than being inside all the time.
Mark Bergin 45:19
Yeah. And so what we've got interesting there is that in a 50 year period that we've seen, you know, that changes take place. We know that most of these buildings that are going up haven't got the lifespan to go and last 50 years, that they're going to be redeveloped or re expanded in there. Tegan I'm interested in, are your clients coming to you and are they planning malleable spaces that will give them the flexibility for this behavior or a lot of them have actually got a set execution in mind, and that they're bolting that in? You know, how much are they planning for a shift within the first five years? Or how much are they saying, we've built what's right?
Tegan Kajawski 46:01
Oh, that's certainly a tough question. We, you know, do have, I think, a lot of the hotel operators in the last few years have made actually amazing sort of changes to their hotel briefs. And I think talking about having properties that are integrated with shopping malls and sort of transportation hubs, and creating sort of large master, sort of planned areas. So that sort of, you know, makes you think that clients are sort of moving ahead with the times. But in terms of the actual spaces within the property, you know I have seen a few operators that are now sort of suggesting that perhaps the lobby could also sort of transform into sort of the meeting space, which sort of could transform into perhaps a room that projects sort of a cinema sort of type space. Or you know, there's a couple of brands where they've tried to integrate a rock climbing wall in the lobby, for example, to make it more a space where their clients may want to sort of hang out with friends, I guess, or sort of stay within the property itself. But I would say generally, we sort of haven't seen that big of a transition yet, where, you know, spaces are transitioning for multiple purposes. I think particularly the meeting room space now has tried to become a lot more about instead of just, you know, this sort of notion of having large boardroom areas that we're sort of going to sort of more co-working spaces, some sort of small pods, it's a much more sort of interactive area. But then you've still got large portions where there's areas like the ballroom, you know, we're still sort of looking at a forum that's only divided into two or three spaces. And so we probably as designers need to look at more, you know, what can those ballrooms really be used for, on the times when they're not being used for lifestyle events? So I think there's a lot of things that we can still do to certainly sort of, I guess, make the hotel property itself a lot more, I guess, transitional throughout so that it's much more user friendly, I think is the way to go.
Mark Bergin 48:22
And I've been really fascinated with the different comments that are coming up from everybody. And the type of activity that you're involved in. You know, Stefan you've been referring to the idea of something which has a much more longitudinal perspective, because if you're working on transportation projects, then that transportation infrastructure is likely to be around for 3050. Or if it's the London Underground, 150 years those tubes have been there. So that there's longevity there. Ping, I think you're looking at what's going to happen and is there a bad consequence, which happens immediately? Or is it actually that there's a better consequence that happens immediately. Tegan your world is actually in a much shorter timeframe there where people are saying we want this hospitality to work now. I think the same thing for you Stephen, that you need to have a project that's finished and it needs to have a longitudinal perspective, but that's very different to the longitudinal perspective that Stefan's got. So that's really important, because every one of these is an opportunity to do something which is additive to a better future, rather than subtractive to a planet where we've used too many resources and that we haven't made some great decisions in there. Julie ...
Stephen Luk 49:44
I want to correct you on one thing. From a hotel operator perspective, I think our concern on the longevity of a project probably is beyond the group here because we have to run the hotel for 20 years, you know, we will go through, at least as that will be our first contract. And then many of our hotels go through the 30 / 40 years easily. So even during the process, we go through renovations, and how we repurpose the space. And right now when we are sort of echoing what Teagan was talking about, we look at spaces to be more multi purpose, you know, leaving it as flexible as possible that we can do multiple different things, whether it is short term or long term conversions. So that's the part that I think, you know, sometimes it's interesting, even though we look after constructions and design constructions. We look after it in a way that we look at the longevity, what's going to happen 20 years from now with this design. This was a lot of time that we will look at design - is this too much of a trend? And is this trend going to be sustainable? You know, we see a lot of stuff 70s / 80s materials coming back in; some of the motifs are coming back in. And we actually worry not just because we are conservative, but we want to make sure that that's not just fay. And then later on, two years from now, the green marble was starting to look old again. I think you do have the right to right to be worried Stephen. Certainly trends are having a much shorter lifespan these days. Yeah, exactly. Like things turns around so quickly. And that's something that we again ..... going back to we don't want to waste things. And sometimes when I go back and look at some of our older Hyatt Regency or Grand Hyatt, the good thing was that they were designed in a way that the architecture was so contemporary, that I just need to go in and maybe change out the sofa again, new carpet, repolish the wall, it still looks fresh. And I think that's something that, you know, in my perspective it became a learning that I want to make sure that the space 10 years from now, when I do a renovation, I don't have to rip the whole thing apart. And I think that's very important.
Mark Bergin 52:15
And thank you for the clarification there. Because I've probably been focusing more on those iterations of the say style based versions that are in there. But a 20 year period, you're in the same space as public amenities, public transport in that you've got to keep really, an industrial site going for much longer than a car factory would, much longer than a steel factory would have to go live. So that's a very interesting future. I'm going to get to a wrap up here because I think what we've been able to go do is say, the idea of getting to BeyondZero is, it's a nice anchor into the future. But we still don't know what 10 years looks like. Ping knows that her daughter is going to be in the lithium recovery business in 20 years time. But that's about all we know out of this call here. I'm going to be like an auctioneer. Are there any final comments from anybody? Or are we going to bring this to a close? Put your hand up if you've got something you want to add? Otherwise, I'm going to close this out. There you go. You're all done. You're all silent. That's fantastic. Everybody, thank you so much. I'm humbled to go have your mind's to help me go and explore what a bit of future might be, to work out what BeyondZero is. And this is the first of quite a few of those conversations. As you've seen, I was reflecting on previous conversations, we've been wanting to do the same thing. We're going to come back and we're going to revisit this, we're going to find out how the lithium recovery factory is going. But you know, that will take us quite a while to get to that one. Thank you so much. And as you're going through your festive activities, I hope that you're having a wonderful time. For those of you that are away from family, I hope that works. For those of you that are with family, make sure you give them big hugs, because hugs are a pretty hard thing to get these days. Thank you everybody. And viewers, our next program we're going to be looking at will actually be in the New Year. And that's fantastic to think we're rolling over the 2021. And we're going to be talking about a thriving economy. To get a thriving economy you've got to have social equity, you need to have a sustainable environment, and you have to have thriving economic factors. I look forward to seeing you then. Hope your New Year is fantastic. We'll be back in 2021. Thank you, everybody.
Stephen Luk 54:30
Julie Monk 54:31
Tegan Kajawski 54:31
Mark Bergin 54:32
That's a wrap, we're out. Thank you. Thank you guys. That was really, really interesting involvement from all of you so I appreciate that. And Ping particularly from you to bring in that perspective about what does it mean, you know, are we doing something which is actually using the right amount of resources? Because I think there seems to be two competing - there's people who are very future focused in China, they want to be conservative on resources and there's other people who have a very short term extraction mindset, which is no different than any other economy. It's how do the values at the long term get to the people that are in the short term.
Ping Xu 55:08
Stephen Luk 55:14
Mark, if you can come up with a few more careers that are future proof, could you share that?
Mark Bergin 55:21
We've given away the lithium recycling.
Stephen Luk 55:25
That's too technical for me.
Mark Bergin 55:28
It's really simple. You just go to old car dealerships, you pick up the batteries, and you give them to somebody who processes them. Yeah.
Stephen Luk 55:37
It's too technical for me.
Tegan Kajawski 55:39
Your shirt says NEVER SIMPLE Mark. It's not that simple. So it seems.
Mark Bergin 55:46
Well, actually, it's really interesting. Every time I use the word simple now I'm looking at myself on the screen and going, you're a hypocrite. It's NEVER SIMPLE. Everybody, thank you so much. We'll see you back in the New Year. Vicki will be in touch with you with the social links for this. This will be going out next week with our EDM. It's the last one for the year. And then hopefully we can catch up with you in the New Year and find out, did you have a sustainable Christmas pudding?
Tegan Kajawski 56:19
Thank you. Merry Christmas, everyone.
Stephen Luk 56:21
Hosted by: Mark Bergin
Podcast Production: Pat Daly
Transcript: Otter AI and Victoria Robinson