The Bespoke* Access Awards 2016 is an international design competition, which seeks original ideas to improve access and provide an enhanced experience for hotel guests, particularly for those with disabilities. Peers in the UK House of Lords initiated the competition. It aims to employ good design to re-imagine the welcome that hotels extend to guests with physical disabilities and learning difficulties, with the aim of making the hotel experience more joyful and inclusive.
The scope of the competition is wide-ranging. It seeks to reward the most creative and original ideas in architecture, interior design, product design and service design.
Ideas could address the experience from the front door to any room or service within a hotel, and the process that has to be undertaken before a visitor arrives or at check out.
The competition is international and open to everybody. Individuals, groups and design professionals of any age are all eligible. The competition organisers welcome particularly entries from designers and architects with disabilities. Entrants should demonstrate that they have engaged with ‘service users’, including disabled people, in framing their proposals. Entries will be assessed anonymously.
A prize fund of £30,000 will be available at the judges’ discretion. An overall winner (if one should be selected) will be awarded the Celia Thomas Prize**, worth £20,000. Other prizes may be offered at the discretion of the judges.
* The competition is sponsored by Bespoke Hotels Group
** Celia Thomas (Baroness Thomas of Winchester) is a member of the UK House of Lords who promotes the rights of those with disabilities.