Michael Graves adds leader

Michael Graves Architecture (MG) has appointed Julie Yurasek as international director of interior design, driving the firm’s growth and innovation across projects worldwide. With a prior tenure at MG, which commenced in 1996, Yurasek held the positions of senior interior designer and director. This valuable context provides her with a distinct perspective and firsthand knowledge that will pave the way for success in her new position, according to the firm. In returning to the firm, Yurasek brings experience and a profound comprehension of the hospitality sector.

“Human experience is at the heart of MG’s DNA, and we’re confident Julie’s addition to the team will allow us to expand our horizons into new markets and industries while upholding the fundamental values that define our firm,” said Joe Furey, president/CEO, MG. “The prospect of expanding our business with the international community fills us with excitement. We eagerly anticipate establishing enduring connections with new cultures, communities, and partners in the process.”

Day-to-day, Yurasek will leverage her knowledge of the global hospitality industry to serve as a liaison to project architects, advocating for the decisions of her clients. Yurasek’s customized approach draws inspiration from the cultural and material surroundings of a project, utilizing her personal cache of resources to meet the ambitions of her clients. Yurasek regularly monitors new projects in the hospitality and residential sectors to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the field—particularly as it relates to materials. A direct result of her collaboration with custom manufacturers worldwide, her library of artisan finishes, one-of-a-kind stones, unexpected finishes and striking textiles creates a distinctive foundation for each project.

Yurasek believes that a holistic and collaborative approach enables her to define a brand while thoughtfully curating an inimitable guest experience through the built environment, shining through in projects ranging from luxury urban hotels to seaside residences. Whether it’s a bold and extravagant visual spectacle or a serene and minimalist ambiance—Yurasek believes the built environment develops a narrative that truly commences upon the project’s completion, when it is encountered by those who inhabit or visit the space. Interior architecture and design should be a meticulously customized encounter that transcends a hotel stay.

Yurasek’s vision for the future of Michael Graves’ hospitality portfolio is focused on enlightening guests and establishing a sense of place by immersing each individual in the surrounding culture. Trading trends for long-term, authentic design choices, Yurasek seamlessly intertwines living and the art of design.

“I’m thrilled to be working alongside the talented minds at MG, honoring the legacy of Michael Graves while embracing new approaches, methods and perspectives. My past experiences feel like a stepping stone to where I am now, and I look forward to pursuing forward-thinking initiatives for our team,” said Yurasek. “The hospitality industry feels like a well of potential to bring more amazing projects to fruition, and I’m eager to dive into ambitious, bespoke design that redefines what it means to be innovative.”

Currently, Yurasek is excited to explore the possibilities of the renaissance happening in the Middle East and North Africa—she cites her work on the St. Regis Cairo at Nile Corniche in Egypt as one of her greatest accomplishments. The hotel received four awards at the International Property Awards for 2021-2022, receiving accolades for Best International Hotel Interior, Best Hotel Interior Africa, Best Hotel Interior Egypt and Best Suite Interior Egypt. Additionally, the St. Regis went on to be awarded Best New Hotel Construction & Design as well as Best Mixed-Use Development Egypt at the African Property Awards. The hotel was also recognized as a finalist at the 2020 Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design for Best Hotel Luxury and a Global Finalist of the AHEAD MEA Awards for Best Event Spaces and Best Lobby & Public Spaces. The project had a lasting impact on Yurasek’s career, providing her with the opportunity to see a project through from concept to completion, in turn deepening her understanding of the world and translating directly into her work.

Additionally, Yurasek worked on the 51 Degrees Spa Residences, which received six recognitions at the 2011 International Property Awards. Yurasek also played an integral role in the design of Espa Spa at Resorts World Sentosa which was awarded the Leisure Architecture Award at the 2011 International Property Awards and the Best Luxury Destination Spa & Best Luxury Wellness Spa Award at the 2015 World Luxury Hotel Awards. As she steps into her new role, Yurasek intends to draw from her diverse background, infusing her work with joy, levity, curiosity, comfort and aspiration.

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