Why Crowdsourced Hotel Design Will Be The Future Of Business Travel

Why Crowdsourced Hotel Design Will Be The Future Of Business Travel

PSFK in partnership with Prodigy examine the trends driving changes around work, lifestyle and health and their impact on the business traveler.

  • 4 february 2014

PSFK has partnered with real-estate crowdfunding company Prodigy Network to crowdsource the designs for their most recent project 17John, an innovative hotel in the heart of New York City’s Financial District. This series of articles provides inspiration for readers wishing to be a part of the project and join the crowd in designing the first Cotel.

In our constantly connected world, technology continues to dramatically change the way that we work, travel, network and socialize, and the service industry struggles to define new models which support and anticipate the emerging needs of their customers. Fortunately, the same technology that’s changing consumer expectations has broken down the barriers between businesses and consumers, opening up a two-way dialogue that creates tremendous opportunity for forward-thinking companies who are willing to listen to their audience and build solutions with democratic appeal.

At the same time, an emerging class of, culturally refined consumers are steadily eroding outdated models of work and travel while playing a pivotal role in defining the experiences we should expect to become accustomed to going forward. At work, airy floorplans mixed with seamless communication technologies promote collaborative environments that invite people to share ideas, while on-the-go travelers leverage a mix of social platforms and services to foster likeminded connections and extend their network like never before. On top of that, as curation tools put the best a local city has to offer at people’s fingertips, every trip becomes an opportunity to meaningfully engage with the culture and creativity that inspires philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and collaboration between budding partnerships. As time, attention, and relationships formulate a de facto currency amongst these individuals, businesses and services who respond to these trends will flourish.

By reflecting on these major shifts, the concept of Cotel was created, with the goal of entirely rethinking the process of conceiving and designing a hotel concept to better meet the needs of the modern business traveler. The Cotel will be developed by Prodigy Network, the same company that broke the world record in crowdfunding to build BD Bacata, Colombia’s tallest skyscraper and multi-use building consisting of apartments, hotel rooms, office spaces and a shopping mall which is currently under construction. Building off that success, the Cotel is an innovative unique hotel that will look to the crowd for everything from the design of its public spaces and rooms to the development of digital platforms to connect the experience to each guest. Similar to its past projects, Prodigy’s Cotel uses funding that won’t come solely from deep-pocketed developers, but also from smaller investors.

17John Cotel

The first Cotel in the world will be an extended-stay residence known as 17John located in Manhattan’s Financial District. The building’s designs will feature both physical and virtual components which are responses to crowd-design, inspiring innovation and collaboration amongst anyone interested in participating. The goal of 17John is to create a space where the interaction of a traditional meeting or gathering will be transformed into an interactive and engaging experience. As NYC retains its prominence as a central hub for business, commerce, and networking, 17John will offer an extended stay that prioritizes the needs of today’s business traveler.

Within 17John the significance of place, the exchange of dialogue, and the evolution of the transient guest is newly defined as more than just a place to stay.

Over the next few weeks, the PSFK Labs team will examine several trends driving changes around work, lifestyle and health and discuss their impact on the modern business traveler. Each week on, we will showcase innovation in collaborative/public space, private space, digital services and branding, with the goal of generating a conversation around improving modern day hotel offerings. The ideas and inspiration we will explore throughout this series will serve as a springboard for the creation of New York’s first crowd-designed, crowd-funded Cotel – 17John.

17John Cotel Interior

Located at 17 John Street in Manhattan’s Financial District, this Cotel will be a realization of the best and brightest ideas for the modern hotel experience, which will be gathered by a public design competition hosted by Prodigy Network. The collaborative foundation of the crowdfunding model for the Cotel 17John integrates the community in an extension of its mission to create a place for people to connect in the new economy. The competition will launch on February 20th at Social Media Week in New York. Register with Prodigy’s new Crowdsourcing platform,, to receive the latest updates. Stay tuned for further details on as we evolve the conversation around the exciting design challenges that will be vital in shaping the world’s first Cotel.

Contributed by Tim Ryan.

Prodigy Network is known as a pioneer in crowdfunding for real estate. In 2009—after more than 29 projects—Prodigy Network developed an innovative investment  model for crowdfunding in real estate, becoming the world’s leading platform in the field. By doing so, Prodigy introduced a way of democratizing investment opportunities for large-scale projects. Prodigy Network believes that community and transparency are essential to success in real estate. 


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