Stories

WATG celebrates 75 years of cutting-edge design with “Travel by Design” series

Irvine, CA January 7, 2020 WATG, one of the world’s leading design firms, rings in the new year celebrating its 75th anniversary. Founded in Hawaii in 1945 by George “Pete” Wimberly, the firm has grown to 500 employees worldwide and remains independent as an employee-owned business. To commemorate this significant milestone, WATG designers put their collective jetsetting experience to paper to launch “WATG Travel by Design. The monthly column shares boots on the ground insights from the firm’s globetrotting professionals who over the last 75 years have designed internationally acclaimed destinations in more than 170 countries across six continents.

Design takes the WATG team all over the world to create the most beautifully imagined properties on the planet. Several fundamental attributes of a designer are an energetic sense of curiosity, his or her unique ability to observe and a deep understanding of context. Inside WATG Travel by Design, those observations are shared, so whether traveling far afield or simply exploring a home city, readers will find a comprehensive travel guide with a designer-perspective. 

“Our founders were intrepid,” said Anthony Mallows, President and Chief Executive Officer of WATG. “Riding the wave of post-war transcontinental air travel, Pete Wimberly coined a motto, ‘have pencil, will travel’. Pete, Howard Cook, Greg Tong, Don Goo and other partners regularly traveled to undeveloped markets and were instrumental in pioneering new destinations across the South Pacific and Asia, and were some of the first American designers to work in China. This trailblazing spirit remains the core of our firm’s DNA today 75 years later. To celebrate our heritage and our swashbuckling spirit, we are excited to launch this series to share our travel knowledge through the exclusive creative perspective of our design team.”

As a tribute to its birthplace, the first edition spotlights Hawaii. WATG’s Honolulu design team provides travelers with a wide range of their favorite recommendations – everything from design, architecture, retail, dining, hospitality and adventure.  

Each month, WATG Travel by Design will spotlight a new destination and is available on the WATG website.

For additional information, interviews and images please email Erica Raskin

 

About WATG

Founded in 1945 and celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020, WATG is one of the world’s leading design firms specializing in hospitality, entertainment + gaming, urban + mixed-use and high-end residential design. WATG’s interior design firm, Wimberly Interiors, launched in 2008, and is consistently ranked in the Top 20 by Interior Design Magazine in its Hospitality Giants survey.

Since George “Pete” Wimberly founded the firm in Honolulu in 1945, WATG has grown to offer integrated design services including Strategy, Master Planning, Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Interiors for urban, tourism and resort destinations. WATG and Wimberly Interiors have offices in Honolulu, Irvine (California), Los Angeles, New York, London, Dubai, Singapore and Shanghai and are best known for creating internationally acclaimed destinations in more than 170 countries across six continents. WATG’s projects are renowned not only for their timeless design and sense of place but also for their bottom-line success.

Throughout the decades, WATG and Wimberly Interiors have designed over 500 built projects on behalf of distinguished clients and brands such as Accor, Belmond, Blackstone Group, China Jinmao Group, China Merchant, Chimelong, Emaar, Four Seasons, Hilton Worldwide, Huafa Group, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, intu Properties, JLL, Kempinski, Keppel Land, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Marassi, Marriott International, MGM Resorts International, Minor Hotels, Mont Choisy Group, New Century Tourism Group, R.D. Olson Development, The Red Sea Development Company, Rosewood Hotel Group, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Suning, Viceroy Hotels & Resorts and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.