D.B. Kim Joins Gensler’s Asia Hospitality Practice

Award-winning designer D.B. Kim has joined Gensler’s Asia hospitality practice as design director. The announcement marks a return to China for Kim, who previously served as VP of the Beijing-based Wanda Hotel Design & Research Institute, a subsidiary of Chinese real estate giant Dalian Wanda Group. Most recently, Kim worked in New York as a project manager. Kim will be based in Shanghai for his new role.

A celebrated hospitality guru, Kim boasts over 25 years of experience as both a hospitality consultant and owner, and has been a driving force behind the expansion of global brands. While at Wanda, he helped design more than 30 projects in the Chinese market, and oversaw design direction for new hotel brands Reign, Realm, and Vista. His leadership has garnered accolades and acclaim, including six Gold Key Awards across all luxury hotel design categories.

“The Chinese hospitality industry is maturing, progressing, and becoming more and more selective,” says Kim. “Designers are increasingly knowledgeable about regional characteristics and adapting accordingly within the local context. With my experience, I’m looking forward to mentoring designers here and adapting personally as our portfolio expands.”

Reception at the Wanda Vista Xishuangbanna Resort. Photography courtesy of the Wanda Hotel Design & Research Institute. 

Before working at the Wanda Hotel Design & Research Institute, Kim served as VP of design for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, where he managed the Sheraton, Westin, and W brands, and worked as a design associate at Daroff Design Inc. and Pierre-Yves Rochon. 

Thai-influenced dark-stained wood. Photography courtesy of the Wanda Hotel Design & Research Institute. 
A rendering of one of the company’s first U.S. properties, the Wanda Vista Chicago slated to open in 2020. Photography courtesy of the Wanda Hotel Design & Research Institute. 

A swimming pool at the Wanda Reign Chengdu. Photography courtesy of the Wanda Hotel Design & Research Institute. 

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