LAURA POMPONI CEO & FOUNDER OF LUXURY PROJECTS
Please tell us a little about your background (education, experience etc.).
Can you please talk us through your process of design and application.
Born in Rome but grew up in Ancona where I studied at the Polytechnic University and got a Degree in Engineering. After my graduation my career started with working for the large Italian tech company: Telecom Italia Mobiles. It needs no explanation that this involved lots of traveling and international business. However, the ability to really understand the base elements of interior design, and a deep interest in colours, shapes, art and architecture was always simmering beneath the surface. I grew up surrounded by fashion designers (including my grandmother). Anyway I chose to study engineering because I am really passionate about maths and complicated equations. What truly fascinates me about the construction of a yacht is the intricacy of the process. It’s like a DNA spiral, and I love solving these complex issues. So, I started to work in the Super Yacht Industry in 2002 and after a long experience in project management, it was several years later, on a trip to Doha, when I decided to put the entrepreneurial ambitions I had since childhood, into action. Strong passion for art and design, my love for material research and finding innovative applications made me to start my own business. Luxury Projects Design Studio and Atelier, headquartered in Ancona (Italy) was founded in 2008. Now, several years down the line, we are challenged with complicated projects and experiencing new cultures, both the ingredients for creating innovative and amazing interiors.
We like to start from scratch, never copy; our designs are the creative translation of the ideas of our clients. We combine art and technology with attention to details. Every project is unique but eventually they come down to the same. The creative process might be the most pleasurable part of the job but Yacht Design mostly is a technical journey. Feasibility in both time and execution is vital to any project. We, if I might be so free to say, at Luxury Projects, gaining from our experience in production facilities, understand Yacht Building as a total concept, in all its aspects. Design needs to be translated into Engineering into a Planning and Budget, then facilitated and subcontracted, executed, commissioned and delivered. Not to forget the logistic nightmare connecting it all. Might sound boring and non-pleasurable but it is part of the game and I have to admit, I’ve got quite good at it.
What projects have you recently completed? Yachts delivered in 2016 MY 90mt Nero – Corsair Vessel Refit MY 38m Heesen Destiny MY 43m CRN Avant Garde MY 42m Heesen Lady Azul What projects are you currently working on? Yachts Work in progress: New 74mt in Italian Shipyard New MY 42m yacht in Spain Extension to 41m of MY Saint Raphael Refit MY 42m Saint Nicholas New MY 52m Motor Sail in Turkey Other top secret projects entering construction across the world. 78 Luxe et al
Do you have a particular design theme or common influences that run through your projects? Nature is one of the best inspirations to use. For any project we get at least some inspiration from it. Modern society has great respect for our planet so yes; inspiration for materials for sure comes from Mother Nature. What do you feel, as a designer, are the three most important qualities to adhere to/strive towards in today’s industry? Innovation, sustainability, the ability really listen to the client. What do you feel separates you as a designer/company from your competitors? True understanding of yacht building, that is; the whole process and all is aspects, though I have to admit we are not the only Interior design studio that is capable of this but still we are quite unique in this. For sure, we are one of the only ones really experimenting and testing innovative materials in our Atelier/Lab.
What current design trends have you identified and do you have any predictions for upcoming design directions? Special finished natural materials, use of LED panels, lighting design, use of glass, less formal more usable spaces, convertible multifunctional furniture, living recreating close to the water, wellness and beauty, health and gastronomy. Please describe any relevant technological advancements that may have influenced/affected your work in recent years. LED technology, AV and IT, maybe even replacing luxury panelling by LED TV or transparent O-LED panels, creating any background or theme thinkable… it is happening… Have you faced any particular challenges of integrating technology into your design schemes? The Biggest problem is exciting vessels with their relative basic wiring systems that can’t cope with the modern equipment used in AV/IT and Domestic Automation, this demands a lot of skills. I there really enjoy my engineering background and often am able to facilitate in a creative solution. What are the main challenges you face as a designer in the current market? Seems or feels like the market is somewhat shrinking, though some yards are doing well others face difficulties, looks like Sailing yachts have become less popular while Explorer vessels momentarily are a hype, where to focus on I guess is the biggest challenge we all face in this industry. What do you feel are the biggest challenges the yacht/aviation sector will have to face in the future? New generation owners coming into the high end luxury “toys” market: their new approach to yachts and business jets is foreseen by my studio simply as a new extra challenge.