What do Super Yachts, Monaco and Lego have in common? They’re all part of Yacht Designer Lujac Desautel’s story. While still at uni, Lujac has managed to design an award winning yacht which has featured on sites such as GQ, CNN and The Telegraph as well as managing the renowned @theyachtcollective instagram account. I interviewed him a couple months back, here’s how it went:
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
My name is Lujac Desautel. I am an aspiring yacht designer interning in Monaco and studying architecture in San Francisco. I prefer to be surrounded by beauty which inspires me and interesting people who challenge me. I believe great design offers an authentic beauty that invites people to consider experiencing the world in a different way; perhaps a way they never imagined.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on a competition submission with my design partner Blake Stevenson for a large scale architecture and urbanism project in South America. The project is small answer to a large issue bout what happens to the existing oil infrastructure once we have un out of oil. In this particular project our design is focused around the national circulation of water. So in a way we are hacking the conduits and infrastructure to tap into local hinterland communities, ecologies and economies to transition into new industries while also leveraging the logistical process to create what we like to call ‘Monuments of Water’.
I am also working on an few exciting yacht designs. One being a homage to the 1922 SS Delphine a timelessly elegant 79 meter steam engine yacht.
What’s your creative process? How do you usually take a raw concept to complete design?
The creative process is like a massive roller coaster but ultimately I always begin by understanding all the various conditions of a project. What are its restrictions, exciting features, and the projects brief. I do this by diagraming, mapping, and drawing and by doing so the project begins to develop a narrative. The narrative is extremely important in any project I do because it gives a beautiful and concrete rationale for any design I do.
What’s been the hardest part about Architecture and Design?
Having to let go of ideas that I may have previously thought of work perfectly but does not fit the criteria of a project. That is where intuition and hard work must come in because it’s a battle of always trying to prove myself wrong while also satisfying myself and most importantly the projects objective.
You mention the beauty of legos is the infinite amount of possibilities that are created with just a few pieces – what do you think legos have taught you that cant be learnt anywhere else?
Legos are one of the purest ways to create a design that can be logically explained without the need of a design degree.
The lego universe is still constrained by a certain logic of how each piece connects, I think this can be applied to any type of design. In the GLASS yacht, the idea of legos was never used to create the cube like aesthetic; it was about the stacking of separate spaces to create a holistic design from the inside to outside.
My proudest Lego Set was was pirate ship. I was so frustrated that it could no float but I just loved the boat and made many movies about it. My uncle built a massive table in my room so I would be able to build a lego town. Its amazing, at age 7 I could design an entire town with streets, architecture and urbanism… a complete metropolis. I didn’t even know what architecture school was at that time yet I was doing everything then that I am doing now. Its a nice reminder to always keep the child at heart and most importantly have fun.
GLASS by Lujac:
Great Architecture creates profound and critical conversations about how people occupy buildings and also the buildings relationship to the city.
Yachts are interesting because they are free of contextual constraints except the ocean. Inevitably this is why yacht design has merely become a conversation about the power of presence and its aesthetic design. I thinks boats have so much potential for the way one occupies spaces on water and their relationship to the water. Architecture is so exciting because it creates powerful and moving experiences, we are surrounded by it all the time but it allows us to look at the world in a different way. I am very interested in bringing this kind of experience on the water.
Whats the part of your work that you spend the most hours on without even noticing?
Every project I do, I give 100 percent of my effort. When I am in work mode, 16 hours can go by without even noticing.
In a project, the most exciting part for me is working on the visuals, it is really about bringing the project to life. I love rendering because it can be provocative, beautiful, and emotional. I always strive to create these kind of experiences with the imagery.
Looking to the future, what do you want to do next?
I really look forward to graduating next year. I love the academic environment and the resources it provides but I am excited for beginning the next chapter in life. I want to collaborate with other designers on boat designs and architecture projects. I love it when different fields overlap. Two fields that I am really excited about bringing together is clothing design and yacht design. I would really like to collaborate with Rick Owens and Swarovski.
Whats your ideal trip abroad be? And what’s stopping you from getting there?
I don’t have an idea trip, just give me a sailboat and lets just start sailing. I feel lucky in a way, I just like being around the people I love the most without a plan and I am happy. I am beginning to learn time is true luxury!