Cruise & Ferry Interiors indulges in Breakfast at Tihany's

Jon Ingleton caught up with iconic hospitality designer Adam D.Tihany over breakfast to hear about his design philosophy and latest projects

Cruise & Ferry Interiors indulges in Breakfast at Tihany's
Adam D. Tihany and Jon Ingleton catch up over breakfast

This article was first published in the 2019 issue of Cruise & Ferry Interiors. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

Created as an ambassador for Italy, Costa Cruises’ new Costa Smeralda will combine everything that makes the country beloved worldwide, such as art, cinema, fashion, furniture, gastronomy, music, transportation and more. It’s a vision crafted by master storyteller Adam D. Tihany, who served as creative director for the project. <

“Briefed to create ‘Italy’s Finest’, I presented Costa’s four Italian and four German executives with a ‘love story’ to Italy. When I finished, all the Italians were in tears because they’d forgotten how beautiful their country and culture is,” said Tihany. “At that moment, I understood that Italians see their country very differently to foreigners and, because Costa’s passenger source market is 50% of each, Costa Smeralda had to depict both Italy and Italia.”

To bring the Italy/Italia dichotomy to life, Tihany hired a mix of Italian, American and German designers, outfitters and fabric, furniture, lighting and other manufacturers. “The teams’ differing interpretations of ‘Italy’s Finest’ will give guests a psychologically and physically compelling story that feels real,” said Tihany. “I’ve paid my own tribute by creating CoDe, the first design museum at sea.”

Tihany is creating similarly compelling stories in his role as creative director for Cunard’s new ship, which will celebrate the brand’s British heritage with “a whisper, not a shout” and debut in 2022. As lead designer for Seabourn, he is directly designing the brand’s new ultra-luxury expedition ships, the first of which will launch in June 2021. 

“When the explorers of yesteryear went to Antarctica, they had clothing and equipment custom-made by the best manufacturers,” said Tihany. “I’m taking this approach with Seabourn Venture – guests should be able to tell that everything has been purposely designed for a luxury expedition.” 

Taking the role of creative director for two very different brands, while designing his first expedition cruise ship is exciting for a man who relishes a challenge. 

“My design motto is: you tell me the problem and I’ll find the best solution,” said Tihany. “I love that every project my studio does is dramatically different to the next, especially when I can collaborate with people who can teach me something new. For me, design is not just work, it’s my life, so the project that gives me the greatest pleasure is the one that I haven’t done yet!” 

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Jon Ingleton
By Jon Ingleton
Monday, June 24, 2019