superyacht elite living africaIgor Lobanov speaks exclusively to Elite Living Africa about his work on the superyacht Jubilee and the future of design

Tell us about when you were a young designer and Lürssen’s Michael Breman allowed you to exhibit at their stand at the Monaco Yacht Show.

In 2007, I first exhibited the scale model of the concept White Knight at Lurssen’s booth and I didn’t eat for the whole show. I didn’t take any breaks because I was so excited and I didn’t want to miss out on anything or miss any clients or visitors. I wanted to talk to everybody and listen to their comments – it was an incredible experience, seeing the public’s response to my design – it was really encouraging. After that, I was confident in what I was going to do.

Name the things every superyacht buyer should know before talking to a designer.

There are plenty of things the designer and yacht buyer should discuss, like the quality of the yacht, lifestyle, budget, delivery time and other things. But I don’t know if the buyer must know something before talking to the designer. These things can be discussed together. There is a list of questions and, of course, we will address all of these questions and concerns and doubts.

Tell us about the Moroccan design inspiration for Jubilee. It’s a wonderful aesthetic. 

We designed the exterior furniture and layout based on Moroccan architecture, ornaments and furnishings – all of that was inspired by Moroccan culture. The pattern on the ceiling is modern – a custom creation for this particular project – but we definitely knew that we had to cover the ceiling with something ornamental. We didn’t want to use a traditional Islamic ornament, but it’s in line with Islamic culture.

Describe Jubilee in seven words.

Natural, fluid, peaceful, confident, elegant, royal, gentle.

What is special about designing yachts for Oceanco?

From the first time I saw their new designs, I knew I wanted to work with them. I realised that they may be one of a few superyacht shipyards that was willing to be different; to be fresh and to bring new products to the market. Of course it is unfair to say they are the only ones but nevertheless, at this large size, the yachts really demonstrate a difference. I approached them and participated in a competition, a tender bid between designers, and our design won. They are always looking for something fresh and innovative, they don’t want to repeat themselves. Of course, they use platforms and these platforms evolve, but the vision stylistically in terms of layout, they avoid sistership, copying and stagnation.

What do you expect from the African market?

I don’t have any enquiries from African clients so it’s hard to say what I can expect. Nevertheless, I believe that, as other markets, it is going to grow and there is going to be some interest in the future.

What will the superyachts look like in the next decade?

We will continue to see variety. I don’t think there will be any radical trends – there will certainly be some radical yachts breaking the boundaries and creating trends of the future, but it doesn’t mean that radical ideas are going to be copied and repeated. Radical solutions sometime create new niches – they break the limits, they push the industry in a different direction but the trends are not really radical. I think we will see more polar trends, retro-looking yachts, explorer yachts, and family yachts. Speed boats and fast and environmentally friendly yachts will exist in parallel.

By Roman Zincenko