AJC Design specializes in hospitality design, residential and multi-family design projects for clients anywhere in the world. Creativity is Everything!™ is the mantra that has fueled AJC Design’s work since its inception in 2007. A vivid, unhindered imagination is at the core of every one of our compelling projects, no two which are the same. That’s why our company logo depicts a hardy walnut shell. While one half references our own passion for dreaming up one-of-a-kind designs and our dedication to making them a reality, the other is an ode to our clients, whose ideas and visions are just as integral to the design process. Built on communication, this mutual, respectful relationship is the foundation for all of AJC Design’s intricate, timeless interiors. We are energetic and honest and keep our clients well informed, involved, and comfortable, learning and laughing along the way.
Creativity is Everything!™ is integrated into all of our studio capabilities and embedded in our signature design process. Our work is customized for each project and client’s needs, so that no two projects are the same, and every project reflects creativity, imagination and original thinking.
Each client relationship starts with generating a creative vision for the project through concept design, which builds the foundation for the rest of the project. We continue our creative journey through schematic design, design development, construction documentation, and construction administration, where the project is actualized.
Creativity is Everything!™ means being able to see possibilities no one else can see, to create what nobody else has created, at a budget that works for your needs first. We infuse Creativity is Everything!™ to transform empirical knowledge into sketches, renderings, construction documents, and custom FF&E designs that reflect our client’s vision, goals, and brand, as well as the social / historical context of the project’s physical location.
Alicia Cannon, founder and principal of New York-based AJC Design, flaunts a signature style that melds dramatic, pop-inspired pieces with tailored, classic settings, fostered by her collaborations with the likes of luxury brands and urban artists.
Cannon’s vast expertise spans full-service and luxury hotels, inviting private residences, and vibrant workplaces. Consider the Hyatt Regency Greenwich, awash in coastal Connecticut charm; the Lanes, a multi-use, ground-up Long Island City residential building capped with a rooftop terrace; or the Long Island headquarters of the brand-new Opal Wealth Advisors
In 2015 Cannon was named one of Hospitality Design’s Wave of the Future honourees, the same year that she won a Stevie Award Bronze, attesting to how she infuses each of her projects with both professionalism and ingenuity, her top priority always capturing and nurturing a client’s vision. That’s why the Woman Business Enterprise-certified designer loves spending ample time getting to know every single one of them personally and embarks on a true partnership to unite functionality and rich, aesthetic details.
Recent AJC Design work includes the Sheraton Mahwah in New Jersey, which draws on the hotel’s past as the former Ford Motor headquarters; the Sheraton Wilmington South hotel, complete with soaring atrium; the lobby at the Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio that calls to mind the Spanish Colonial era; and a design competition culminating in two guestroom schemes for the Bellagio in Las Vegas that telegraph the Italian village of Bellagio in Lake Como. AJC Design has also completed the Thayer Hotel in West Point, New York, Hotel Indigo in downtown Brooklyn, and the Westport Inn in Connecticut, and is currently working on the Renaissance New York Harlem Hotel, slated to open in 2020, as well as the Thayer Resort and Spa scheduled for 2022.
Cannon is a graduate of the Pratt Institute, where she cultivated her childhood passion for transforming humdrum interior spaces into enduring, matchless designs.
My jaw dropped the first time I visited a grow house and cannabis dispensary in Colorado a few years ago. When I saw the usual rows of desks and computers, I thought I was walking into a normal business office. Yet, behind the black door in the back of the office was a private greenhouse overflowing with cannabis plants. Naturally, I was caught by surprise because on the East coast, marijuana was still illegal and hardly ever seen in public. I realized then that cannabis was more than a plant. It was a budding industry.
Fast forward to the end of 2020, where Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that cannabis would be legally sold for recreational use in New York sometime in 2021. The sudden change of heart in the middle of a pandemic is simple. With tourism lagging and many restaurants shuttered permanently, New York is in the hole by as much as $6 billion.
Legalization was not about suddenly acknowledging the inequities caused by banning marijuana in the first place. New York City cares about the green stuff – money, that is. Cannabis is a huge economic opportunity for the city. In addition to tax revenue generated, the other good news is that there will be more job opportunities for designers, retailers, developers and others in the hospitality business.
As a hospitality designer, legalization introduces a new dimension into interior design. After all, cannabis is an extremely versatile natural plant. It can be integrated into so many different forms such as oils, creams, baked goods and edibles, not to mention, being smoked. The possibilities for design of retail stores and dispensaries are endless! To give you an idea, imagine your local apothecary and your favorite luxury jewelry store came together under one room.
Successful cannabis dispensary design depends on two things. First, is an in-depth understanding of the properties and care requirements of the plant. Second, is an understanding of one’s target market and customers. At the end of the day, retail dispensaries are all about the hospitality experience. Customers are going to go to places they feel welcome, listened to and respected; not to mention where they can the best quality product.
Of course, I also see the legalization of cannabis affecting New York City hotels. Hotels have to rethink how they will entice tourists back to New York. Will it be by offering in-room edibles in the mini-bar? Spa products with CBD oils? Vaping lounges? CBD infused delicacies on the dessert menu? However, not every hotel brand can or should pull this off. Many need to consider who its target customer is and if they are still targeting that customer or want to explore catering to a new customer base.
In addition, they need to understand how they want to incorporate marijuana to begin with. If smoking is allowed in hotels, this poses a concern about air quality and smell, especially for non-smokers. Then, there are legal and liability implications. What will hotel management tolerate? How will they educate and train their workforce? While the road ahead to legalization is still hazy (no pun intended) in New York City, cannabis dispensaries offer hope of new economic vitality.
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