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Design and the Chambermaid

Design and the Chambermaid

Mary Bresnan’s The Practical Hotel Housekeeper and E. M. Statler’s Service Code

(p.41) 2 Design and the Chambermaid
Housekeeping By Design
David Brody
University of Chicago Press

In the second chapter, Brody establishes that the connection between design and labor at hotels can be traced historically. He uses Mary Bresnan’s 1900 book, The Practical Hotel Housekeeper, to explicate the history of hotel management and design. Through Bresnan’s text, Brody shows how guest room attendants have historically been managed, and that the management of emotions and bodies takes place through service design. He explains how Bresnan’s concerns remain relevant in the twenty-first century hotel industry. Brody also discusses E.M. Statler’s development of regimented systems of service design that defined the experiences of guests, workers, and managers at his hotels built at the beginning of the twentieth century. According to Brody, Statler’s forward-thinking notions about service design remained committed to a gendered conception of labor and domesticity.

Keywords:   Mary Bresnan, The Practical Hotel Housekeeper, E. M. Statler, hotel management, service design, housekeeping

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