Student Work

  • Interior Design (MFA)

    Chen Ling Tsao

    Revealing Hidden Labor

    Housekeeping is a vital component of the infrastructure of hotel management, yet it is usually hidden from the public. Hotels are presented as flawless interiors to customers while often hiding the labor of workers, especially housekeepers, who consist mostly of female immigrants. Maintenance workers are among the main users of a hotel's facilities, yet their needs are seldom considered by designers and developers. How might a design accommodate both hotel workers and guests? In this hotel design, the workers are not excluded but rather are the starting point from which this thesis emerges. The plan incorporates ergonomic furniture, minimalist designs and healthier materials specifications, so that working in the hotel will involve less physical strain and reduced use of chemical detergents, all of which can improve the mental and physical health of workers. Happier and healthier employees will provide better service to guests and create a mutually beneficial experience for everyone: guests, developers, and workers alike. Designing from the perspective of labor could produce both unexpected and generative benefits for all.