Steve’s Jobs yacht design is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. As such, when Phillippe Starck gave an interview to SuperYachtTimes (via CNET) revealing the thought process behind it, I was fascinated.
The design was meant to be as clean as possible, and anything that wasn’t needed was thrown overboard, rather like optical drives in Macs (whether we agree with that is a different issue entirely).
Some interesting facts where brought up by Starck including that to start with, he was given a blank slate to play with:
From the beginning, I had complete carte blanche. The owner just gave me the length and the number of guests he wanted to accommodate, and that was it. In our very first meeting we had little time to speak, so I told him, I will design it, as if it is for myself. The owner replied that that would be perfect for him.
He also, predictably, states that for Jobs, it became about the details:
We spent just one day every six weeks, for 5 years, on refinements. Millimetre by millimetre. Detail by Detail.
However just as important as details was that it did everything simply and efficiently, with no needless components.
We designed it by philosophy. And we stuck to that absolutely. As I said, the yacht’s design was finished in our first meeting. Then we did the details. We always wanted less and less, which was fabulous. With the design done, it was all about refining it. Re-polishing it. We came back on the same details until they were perfect.
Inside, we used loose furniture, but left it very open. The owners have to live their own life, so it was mostly done by them. It is the minimum of everything. There is not a single useless item inside…. Not a single useless pillow, or a useless object. In that sense, It is the opposite of other boats. Other boats try to show off more and more. Venus is revolutionary. It is the extreme opposite.
This yacht is comfortably more beautiful than any product Apple has designed in the last five years (in my opinion), and it’s a great interview to find out about the philosophy of one of the great designers, as well as Steve Jobs’s attitude. Worth a read.