Alex Quesada for The New York Times

Exploring the concept of wellness in experience design and environmental graphics.

Arquitectonica (digital modeling)

Two years ago, we began working on the development of the Canyon Ranch Living® | Miami concept in Miami Beach, Florida.

It’s open, as of a couple of weeks ago.

To their position, some of which we’d explored as an opening team, it initials the presence of the newest “Living” Canyon Ranch modeling with this statement for marketing the property — literally, live, buy into, the holistic lifestyle of the Zuckerman vision:

Stunning scenery, lavish accommodations, infinite pleasures, incredible dining — and that’s just at first glance. Welcome to Canyon Ranch Miami Beach, a hotel of unexpected possibilities. At the newest addition to the award-winning Canyon Ranch family, you’ll feel embraced by the warm welcome, breathtaking hotel lobby and incredible ocean views. The historic Carillon Hotel has been restored beyond its original splendor and infused with the Canyon Ranch spirit of health, fitness and personal attention. Unwind in one of 150 luxurious guest suites, enjoy the cordial gathering spaces, dine on award-winning cuisine and explore unsurpassed spa, fitness and wellness opportunities. This modern boutique hotel merges Miami style with natural tranquility.

Our role, in partnering with the Canyon Ranch marketing team, as well as the development crew, was to create a sense of environmental design strategy that bridges marketing sensibilities with desing in the context of touch and sight. Working with David Rockwell, as well as the architectural team of Arquitectonica, our team built out a strategy for gathering the sensibilities of the interior visualizations, the heritage of the building and the needs of a complex way-finding language. Additionally, our group worked on the management of video storytelling as an opening expression for pre-sales and brand story.

Our working method is defined on storytelling. And there’s a particular way in which the concept of storytelling works, in the context of the human mind — that is: “we are the story, we frame our experience in a sequential layering of memories that are based in narrative expression.”

In a story in The New York Times, an article offers a positioning that concretizes this link to the psyche of recollection and life experience.

There are a variety of challenges in developing a mixed-use signing development program, involving food and beverage services, a spa, hotel and condominiums. There are layers of experience development that are required, and finding an integrated story that allowed the messaging to be confluent. First of all, the property is warranted as a preserved heritage site, the former Carillon, so large-scale signing needed to consider the retention of legacy.

There are, as well, restrictions on the sea-side representation, and the massive scale of the streetside presence.

Add to these concerns the sheer variety of interior experiences. For openers, the spa design language created by Rockwell’s team, with complex tiling installations.

And then, the exterior and interior vocabulary for open-air exposures.

A park-like interior section between the towers also required signing management.

And, to other aspects of the property, there are a variety of interior visualizations and design languages for each of the property assets.

Our work focused on strategic development, Canyon Ranch brand integration, materials alignment, property research and planning, collaborations with all the teams for scheduling programming and signing manufacture and installations. While the reactions are instinctual, they are related to a sequence of process development.


Here’s an overview of the design development and implementations.

Graphic applications for signing and print materials:

Systems and messaging:

The process focuses on integration of all the aspects of the property and its assets in experience:

  • Brand strategy | interviews, assessments, planning
  • Working BrandQuest® creative charette sessions
  • Metaphors and brand materials
  • Materials recognition
  • Interiors / exteriors vocabulary alignment
  • Design developments / site programming
  • Manufacture coordination
  • Production and installation supervision

    tsg | Miami Beach | FLA

Process references:
Brand story
Resort design programming

Process and imagery credits: