On our own mission 

Future of Hospitality
Innovation & Inventions

TUTAKAs cooperation with the University of Wuppertal

New ideas for more sustainability in hospitality - radical re-thinking of luxury and standards! TUTAKA presented this ambitious project objective in October 2018 to a group of students from the University of Wuppertal. Prof. Martin Topel had invited us to work with the University’s agency visionlabs - a prestigious institution offering innovative product design solutions for companies.

The prospective industrial designers rolled up their sleeves to identify hospitality practices which neither served client needs nor sustainability criteria. Playgrounds were hotel rooms, festival and event grounds, restaurants and catering companies. The students rethought guest experiences and defined new luxury benchmarks. TUTAKA walked them through the quality dimensions, added values of sustainability and provided deep insights into the hospitality industry. Big shout-out at this point to Hyatt Regency Cologne, 25hours Hotel The Circle, Motel One Cologne, Kaspar Catering, CHI coffee Wuppertal, Viertelbar Wuppertal, Taormina Wuppertal, Tante Olga Cologne for sharing their knowledge and expertise.

We soon realised we were working with 100% Ecoists, who did not need much explaining about why superb experiences and sustainability go hand in hand. The young students represent a new generation of guests and we could not wait to hear and see their results.

Difficult problems demand fine solutions. And here they are. We proudly present a selection from the range of designs and innovations straight from ecoistic product designers:

tray (Enrico Suhm)
A zero waste hotel bathroom is the ultimate dream. Neither mini-plastic bottles nor dispenser solutions do not meet an Ecoists demands. Liquid soaps, shampoos, conditioners and body lotions not only create packaging waste, but also dilute ingredients due to their high percentage of water. Enrico thought radical, abandoned the idea of liquids and turned towards solid cosmetics that anyway go through a renaissance right now. The problem? Providing solid bars of high quality is only a solution for luxury hosts. And still a lot of waste is being created since those bars will need individual packaging and there will be plenty of soap remains. How about grinding the soap bars in practical portions? This concept is not entirely new. But what is new about Enrico’s “tray” is to put an eye on both design and experience. Something conventional grinders do not provide. Enrico tested and tried, carried out surveys on how the grinded soap should look like and how the grinding mechanism should be conducted. The result is “tray”.

two° (Philine Jenke/ Maike Strauch)
Ever woke up from a noisy hotel room minibar, got down on your knees to extract an either too cold or too warm unhealthy and sugary drink? Unacceptable, concluded Maike and Philine and designed two°, a minibar solution getting rid of all negative aspects of the experience, creating new good ones. Better display of snacks and beverages, inspiring guests to buy in and thus creating more turnover. Easier handling for guests. No more kneeling. More sustainability: two° stands for a two degree increase of temperature. The average fridge cools at 6-8° degree. two° however advocates a slight correction resulting in massive energy efficiency.

FunBin (Sebastian Härder)
Garbage is dirty and annoying. Something to get rid of. Something causing work. Negativity all the way. All that explains why festival grounds turn into waste war zones. Sebastian decided it would be time for a change and gamification would be the answer. He thus created Fun.Bin, a device to be installed inside a waste bin lit. But that isn’t the fun part! Every time someone executes his or her garbage duty and throws something inside, Fun.Bin will react. How? Well, that is up to you, festival organizer. Think a big “thank you for keeping this festival clean” from the lead act or really any sound you can think of. No doubts: Fun.Bin is the festival must-have 2019. You find further infos here

LO.CAL (Veronika Martin)
LO.CAL tackles two problems in one. Many hotels provide in-house gastronomy. The problems are: Kitchens create waste. Guests are sometimes hungry outside the kitchen opening hours. Veronika’s LO.CAL is a vending machine that inspires kitchen personnel to turn their waste into nightowl dishes, accessible through a vending machine. The dishes might be priced attractively or even included in the room rate. Who would not prefer a healthy fresh snack to the typical sugary emergency solution?

BIN.GO (Luis van den Berg)
Luis turned his attention to a problem occuring in hospitality operations dealing with food packaging. Think summer. Do you see desperate parents and both crying and happy children all covered in colorful ice cream? To prevent that look at least partially or to prevent the intake of gluten, many people choose cups. Once empty, the cup is thrown away. The problem? When the cups are being delivered they are stuck inside each other and thus do not take a lot of space. However, after being tossed, the cups create massive waste volumes. This leads to inefficiencies. Hosts now have two options: They could breath in deeply and jump inside the bin and on the waste until the volume is reduced by a considerate amount. Not a pleasant scenario? What about this: BIN.GO squeezes every in-throw individually and thus solves the issues without losing breath. Applicable not only in front of ice cream stores but also for other food-on-the-go situations such as food trucks.

HIVE (Igor Altenhof)
Insects have recently arrived to European menus. Igor finds this more than plausible. It is way more efficient to breed and consume insects on many ecological and nutritional levels. They can be fed with kitchen waste and this way solve another issue. They will rise from being a taboo into a valued and important nutrition option. HIVE is a device to grow crickets in gastronomy environments. It allows kitchens to turn their waste into something valuable and make this new food option more accessible to guests.

Thank you
We do thank all students for their openness and dedication to our project “Future of Hospitality”. We were inspired by your thoughts and ideas and highly encouraged to tidy up with the absurdities of our industry step by step. We especially thank Prof. Martin Topel for giving us access to those talents and leading them through the design process. We now do understand much better what it takes to design and create outstanding products.

In our #futopia, every product designer on earth will not only think about functionalities and look, but dive deep into resource efficiency, material input and life cycle assessment. Cheers to that.

About visionlabs
visionlabs is a platform for visionary product development, integrated into the faculty of industrial design at the University of Wuppertal. Students meet complex, future-orientated issues in innovative and competent way. The lab offers companies the chance to tackle problems impossible to solve in the businesses day-to-day operations. Experienced professors guide the students through the projects. visionlabs has been working with clients such as Lufthansa, Bosch, Henkel, Dornbracht and WMF. More information can be found here.


  • TUTAKA partnered up with the University of Wuppertal

  • A group of 20 students worked on  innovations for more sustainability and superb experiences in the hospitality industry

  • Solutions were found for hotel rooms, gastronomy, events and festivals

  • … but that’s just a piece of the cake. You better read the full article!

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two°, a minibar getting rid of all negative aspects of the experience, including the immense loss of energy.

An invention by Enrico: tray - a zero waste soap grinder. Revolutionzes, how we use solid soaps.

Fun.Bin, an innovation by Sebastian, will make festivals cleaner, more communicative and maybe even more fun.

Veronika’s LO.CAL is a vending machine that inspires kitchen personnel to turn their waste into nightowl dishes, accessible through a vending machine.

HIVE enables gastronomers to grow crickets. Yes, crickets. Future of Hospitality.

BIN.GO squeezes every in-throw individually and thus reduces waste considerably.