a built-in ceiling disc lights the living area of this home with neon accents throughout
A built-in ceiling disc illuminates the living area, with Carlo Scarpa’s Cornaro armchairs and an Ammanoid Gama chair by Misha Kahn.

5 Design Luminaries Share Their Top-of-Mind Destinations

Shoptalk is our monthly roundup where we ask industry insiders topical questions seeking insight into the design zeitgeist. This month we asked principals of ODA Architecture, AB+AC Architects, Roar, MAWD, and CID Design Group, respected studios hailing from across the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East: What cities are on your design radar and why? 

Keep an Eye on Designs Hailing from These Locales

Design Standouts from Charlotte, North Carolina to Nashville, Tennessee

“There’s a new wave of branded residences and hospitality projects booming in smaller U.S. cities like Jacksonville, Florida, where ODA is designing the interiors of a new Four Seasons hotel with residences. Cities like Charlotte, North Carolina; Tampa, Florida; and Atlanta are still seeing growth in both hospitality and residential markets. We’re also seeing great talent and design coming out of southern cities like Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; and St. Louis.” — Eran Chen, ODA Architecture

Explore Designs from Lisbon, Portugal and Beyond

“Lisbon seems to have the right balance of raw creative talent, abandoned buildings with great potential, and skilled craftspeople to make it all happen. Its captivating charm, in constant dialogue between tradition and contemporaneity, is now drawing creators and investors alike from different industries, stimulating imagination and inspiring architectural innovation. Some might say it’s the New York of 40 years ago.” — Arianna Bavuso, AB+AC Architects

Design Hotspots in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

“My hometown: Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. The world’s millionaires and billionaires flocked here during COVID when it was pretty much the only city open. Many stayed, which is fueling a real-estate boom. Fifteen years is old for a mansion in Dubai, so they’ll gut it completely. Then everyone needs offices for their staff and schools for their kids, plus hotels, restaurants, shops. Growth is also insane in Saudi Arabia.” Pallavi Dean​, Roar

Must-See Designs Spotted in Miami, Chicago, and Denver

“We have a name for those that have caught our eye for being centers of innovation, excitement, and development: magnet cities. In the U.S., Miami, Chicago, Denver, and Austin, Texas, fit the description—they’ve experienced an influx of young residents who appreciate high-caliber design.”Elliot March, MAWD

Dream Up Desert Inspiration in Marfa, Texas and Joshua Tree, California

“A time-tested example of artists leading us to the coolest places, Marfa, Texas, spotlights our affection for unusual, storied, cultured destinations. The Sunbelt has been the beneficiary of tremendous recent growth, teeming with opportunity and talent. From Joshua Tree, California, to Florida’s 30A, it’s less about one powerhouse design mecca and more about the collective influence of all these uniquely creative micro-markets. Lisbon, Portugal, has also been the recipient of major growth fueled by affordability, access, beautiful land/weather/lifestyle, and the emergence of wanderlust nomads now free to work remotely and surf at will.” — Jenn Zella, CID Design Group

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