D.B. Kim Joins Gensler

Hospitality expert leads firm’s Shanghai office

Boutique Design
D.B. Kim | Gensler

D.B. Kim. Photo: Courtesy of D.B. Kim and Gensler

Gensler has hired high-profile hospitality designer D.B. Kim to serve as design director in its Shanghai office. The move supports the architecture and design giant’s growing hospitality practice in the Greater China and Asia Pacific markets, according to the firm. 

Kim joins Gensler with more than 25 years of design experience. He was formerly vice president of Wanda Hotel Design Institute (WDI), a unit of Beijing-based commercial real estate developer Dalian Wanda Group. While at WDI, he helped design more than 30 projects in China and led the design direction for three new brands from the hotelier: Reign, Realm and Vista. His work on those flags helped earn the company six Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design across the competition’s luxury hotel design categories in 2016

“Exceptional design needs to reflect local culture while adapting to modern sensitivities,” says Kim. “Chinese traditions are both multifaceted and rich, and they vary by city and province. Adapting these traditions and their cultural aesthetic through careful material selection while also operating within budget is the key to award-winning design.”

Kim’s career also includes a stint as vice president of design at Starwood Hotels and Resorts (now part of Marriott Intl.), where he managed the company’s Sheraton, Westin and W brands, including designing The Westin Bund Center Shanghai. Following that, Kim worked as a design associate at Philadelphia-based Daroff Design Inc. and Parisian firm Pierre-Yves Rochon.