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In Profile:
Design Unlimited – Arksen 65 & Arksen 85

In Profile:

Design Unlimited - Arksen 65 & Arksen 85

Shortlisted: Two categories

The International Yacht & Aviation Awards 2024

The International Yacht & Aviation Awards

Name: Nigel Jones

Company: Design Unlimited – Interior Designer for Arksen 65 & Arksen 85

Position within company: Senior Designer


Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)

I qualified from a UK University with BSc Honours in Product Design (some time ago now) and straight away joined a Marine production company called “Sealine International”. This was a great learning opportunity for designing production boats and understanding the design process within a large business establishment.

After several years at this company, I moved to the southcoast of the UK and joined a small yacht design consultancy, where designing production boats as well as larger superyachts and dealing with individual clients was part of the day-to-day process. Gaining this great experience in the superyacht side of the industry, I decided set out on my own and provide various yacht design consultancies in the UK with 2D and 3D design development on projects ranging from interior design to exterior design. This eventually led me to Design Unlimited – whilst working as a contractor for them, they offered me full-time employment, which was over a decade ago now!

The last 10 years plus at Design Unlimited have been fast paced and have seen a variety of interior design, exterior design, production boats, full-custom superyachts, refits, and interior design commissions for residential projects come across my desk, all of which have developed my skill set further and provided great experience in dealing with the various requirements these projects throw at you.

How would you describe your personal design style?

My design style leans towards a more pure and simplistic aesthetic; a structured simplicity which takes interiors back to basics and lets the materials, textures and forms stand out to create a calm and relaxing space.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

Inspiration comes from various elements – from the creativity/design industry to the natural world, as well as from individuals and their beliefs. For me and the team it’s about incorporating these thoughts or inspirations into a design that the client will feel comfortable with, and a design that reflects their vision.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?

The issue of climate change has seen a decisive push on advancing sustainability within design and minimizing environmental impact. From material consideration to production/manufacture and supply chain awareness, there is a strong pull towards “responsible” design. I think it’ll be interesting to see how this can be woven into the design process and design as a whole. Trends and styles will come and go over time, but this should remain a constant across all steps designers take, and continually be re-evaluated in order to improve.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2024 and beyond.

  1. Think “responsible” design from the outset in terms of environment impact.
  2. Engage with the client to find out what they want.
  3. Always be open minded to change and something new.
  4. A design should always be functional for its intended purpose.
  5. Design is in the detail…that should never be forgotten!

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be? 

Always have 2, 3 or 4 options to show the client. Design is subjective and trying to get to what the client wants in one hit is setting yourself up to fail. It’s about the process, taking the client with you on an evolutionary journey and ending up with a design they are ultimately comfortable with and excited by.

What was your favourite project to work on and why?

The Design Unlimited studio has an incredible variety of projects in its portfolio, ranging from small production boats to large superyachts and some beautiful houses. All had various elements that stood out, but I would say working on the Arksen projects most recently is up there for me. It was a chance to create interiors from the ground up for a new production yacht brand that are very much aligned with “responsible” design. The company’s ethos and products are forward thinking, and both built around reducing their impact on the environment as well as giving back to the ocean, which is a really interesting direction for a marine production company.   

What was your most challenging project to work on and why?

All projects have certain challenges in the process, it’s part of the design and build of such complex yachts. I would say refits offer the most challenging elements due to the nature of having to marry old and new in terms of design aesthetics as well as fitment. There are always constraints, be it technical, geometry or commercially that you need to work with to deliver the desired interior or exterior revision.

Which products/services could you not live without when designing?

3D design and visualization software are key to our design process. We still utilize hand sketching to generate ideas but the sooner a client can see the design proposals of their saloon for example, the easier it is designing the interior they are after. It also allows us as a studio to include the client in the process of designing their yacht from the outset.

How important are The International Yacht & Aviation Awards?

I feel recognition of delivering outstanding design (be it subjective) is always a good thing as a lot of hard work from various areas of the design and build teams goes into delivering the final yacht. These awards are certainly held in great esteem so the chance to be a nominee, or even a winner, is exciting.

What projects are you currently working on? 

The studio has quite a few projects on the go at present which all vary in their offering. From small RIB designs to super exclusive houses, they all require a slightly different skill set to develop the designs and deliver the clients’ requirements.  There are several superyachts currently in build that bear interiors by the Design Unlimited team.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

12 months sounds long-term but in relation to projects and their development it can go quite quickly. So, the main objective would be to continually incorporate responsible thinking, in terms of design as well as day-to-day living. To reduce the environmental impact of the studio as well as myself individually.

Design Unlimited were the Interior Designer for Arksen’s Arksen 85 & Arksen 65 which have been shortlisted for 2 categories in The International Yacht & Aviation Awards 2024.
The International Yacht & Aviation Awards

design et al only work with the world’s leading companies in the International Yacht & Aviation industry.

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The International Yacht & Aviation Awards 2024
are organised by design et al
and sponsored by:

Sylka Carpets
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