MA people meets Soohyun Chang

Meet Soohyun Chang and discover all about Atelier Chang, glamping and her perspective on the trends shaping the future of tourism.

1 Soohyun, what exactly is “glamping” and how did you discover / start to love it?
Glamping is a combined term from “glamour” and “camping” to describe a style of camping with amenities (like washroom, kitchen) and in some cases, resort-style services not usually associated with traditional camping. It has become an alternative way to spend one’s vacation. I was inspired by the Tree hotel in Sweden, and began to think of new inventive ways to experience nature in the closest proximity. Our younger clients wanted the same and asked for something dramatically different than a single hotel room. That’s when we started our glamping projects in 2014.

2 Can you give our readers some information on your company “Atelier Chang”? What’s the idea behind and where have you implemented this concept already?
Our design focuses on Simplicity For Many. Glamping represents this concept the best. Our glamping tents are designed for the distinctive user experience by offering very simple but inventive form and content. These tents are called Cutent, Firefly, or Mountain, as their concept was driven from simple objects found in nature. The breadth of space is also quite unique: 45-60 sqm of interior space, as big as a small flat. The tent material adds to its exciting appearance: stylish bright colorus of the fabric is 100% non-flammable, 100% recyclable. It’s the same fabric used for the London Olympic Stadium. About 5 glamping resorts are already built in Asia with our models in recent 2 years, with 2-3 more projects on its way this summer in larger scale.
http://atelierchang.com/glamping/

3 Can you tell us a bit more about the Knothouse, the 5 residential structures that you realised on Geoje Island, South Korea?
We wanted to create a knot from a strip of landscape. A house made of knot could blur the boundary between the inside and outside. While sitting in the living room Jacuzzi, you could feel like you are immersed in the entire ocean view in front of you. The front garden continues seamlessly into the living room. It turned out to be a popular project that many people wanted to visit even with 2-month-in-advance reservation. 
http://atelierchang.com/knot-house/

4 We know you like to travel with your family and your little son. Which hotels and accommodations do you prefer and what exactly are you looking for when booking your family escape?
We always look for vacation venues where both parents and kids can have fun. For instance, if the hotel itself has interesting programs or a concept that our entire family can enjoy – separately or together – that ticks the mark. Convenience as well as adventure are parts of the criteria.

5 From your perspective: what are the trends that are going to shape the future of hospitality and tourism over the next years?  
I once read an article where a global officer in Marriot Edmundson said “Design has been demorcratized.” Design does not reflect the rich few, but will have to face new consumers like millennials, who want great quality service with non-ridiculous overcharges. I cannot agree more that the new trend of hospitality will target on the intelligent mass, whether it be young family with toddlers, young couples travelling on backpack, or innovative retirees in their early 60s. They are more educated than ever and treasure unique experiences. As much as Airbnb has shaken up the dusty hotel businesses, the new small but unique outdoor experience will be welcomed by unprecedented mass audiences.  

Thank you Soohyun & keep on inspiring us with your innovative creations ;-)
MA people

About: Soohyun has founded Atelier Chang as a collaborative platform to reconceptualise architecture and urban design through social and environmental research. Atelier Chang is an international design praxis based in South Kensington, London and Zurich since 2011. Have a look at Soohyun’s and her team’s wonderful work under http://atelierchang.com.

MA people 26.04.2016, Zurich