Philippe Starck, the French designer who helped late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs design his yacht, has revealed the process that led to the final creation of the boat, which made its first public appearance in October.
“From the beginning, I had complete carte blanche,” Starck said in an interview with SuperYachtTimes. “[Jobs] just gave me the length and 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 was for myself.”
“This is how we were able to design the project so fast, in just two weeks we delivered the plans, and a ship model,” Starck continued. The yachts, which has been christened ‘Venus’ after the Roman goddess of love and beauty, is made with lightweight aluminium and is 78 metres long. Jobs, who died in October 2011, was reportedly working on the boat’s design in the weeks before his death.
Starck revealed that Jobs was “very rigorous” during the design process, but that he “rewarded me with the best gift someone can give a designer; he told me “It is better than in all my dreams”… which for him was a lot!”
“We never retouched the project which means that from 2007, to the launch [this year] it is basically still the same,” Starck said. “We spent just one day every six weeks, for five years, on refinements. Millimetre by millimetre. Detail by detail.”
Starck explained that the concept of the yacht was based on keeping the design to a minimum. “The key word between the owner and me was honesty. There was no room for lies, or for fakes.”
“Venus is exceptional,” gushed the designer. “In the design, there is no reason for aesthetics, no reason for ego, nor for trends. We designed if by philosophy. And we stuck to that absolutely.”
“With the design done, it was all about refining it. Re-polishing it. We came back on the same details until they were perfect. We had many calls about parameters; the result is the perfect application of our joined philosophy.”
Starck said that he thinks he and Jobs made it very difficult for Feadship, the shipyard that built the yacht. “We reinvented ways to think, as well as the way to do things. But Feadship executed our ideas so very well. The quality of the boat is astonishing.”
We haven’t been granted a look inside the ship, but Starck revealed: “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’s the extreme opposite.”
The overall minimalist and purposeful design ideas behind Steve Jobs’ yacht demonstrate the same style that he frequently implemented in Apple’s products.
Starck has designed several other yachts in the past, including the ‘A’, which can be seen in the image below.
As for the future, Starck was hesitant to discuss his plans, but hinted that there are other secret projects in the pipleline, and the end result of one of those projects will be “the most astonishing boat in the history of sailing yachts.”