Good design enhances every aspect of the travel experience. Walking into a beautifully built air terminal or railway station can ease the stress of transport; the architecture of a museum, shop, or restaurant can complement—and even elevate—the sensory pleasures served up inside. A well-designed park or public square functions as a doorway onto a destination, through which you can observe, and begin to explore, the culture of a new place; and the shape and style of a hotel—the way it blends into its landscape, the lines of its furniture, the views from its windows—can make the difference between a trip and the trip of a lifetime.
Naturally, we at Travel + Leisure take the business of design very seriously. So when it came time to choose the year’s best design innovations—in 15 different travel categories—we brought in the experts. Our panel of seven judges (architects, museum directors, industrial and fashion designers) comes from the upper echelons of the design world.
They weighed in on everything: from the world’s best-designed resort to the best suitcase to carry there (hint: one’s in Southeast Asia, the other’s from France). They chose the most fabulous new places to see art (both indoors and outdoors); the coolest camera to photograph it with; and even the best jacket to wear while doing so.
Memorable travel, after all, is equal parts efficiency and beauty, form and function. And if you’re going to explore the world, better to do it by design.