The hallmarks of great design: a discussion with Francesca Bucci

Jon Ingleton discovers how BG Studio is pursuing excellence and delivering great designs for its clients

The hallmarks of great design: a discussion with Francesca Bucci

BG Studio

By Jon Ingleton |

Strong founding principles lay a critical baseline for every creative endeavour, and interior design firm BG Studio has taken inspiration from an innovator of the past to establish its own vision. 

“Echoing the wisdom of Leonardo Da Vinci, we passionately believe that ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’,” says Francesca Bucci, president and founder of BG Studio. “We align with the principle that great design is defined by the ability to translate convoluted concepts into clear and understandable forms. We create designs that speak volumes through their simplicity with harmony of geometry, colour and proportions.” 

BG Studio has followed this principle across a wide variety of cruise ship projects, aiming to deliver spaces that go above and beyond their clients’ expectations. To achieve this, Bucci believes that there needs to be room in a project brief for a designer to adapt to the unexpected. 

“In our firm, we see briefs as a necessary form of guidance from the client and a roadmap for the project,” says Bucci. “However, no matter how well crafted a brief is, there are always unforeseen complexities that arise during the course of a project. It is important that the brief allows for flexibility, so we are free to explore our own creative ways to reach the client’s goals by introducing original ideas that go above and beyond the initial roadmap.” 

The journey to a great design isn’t entirely founded on process steps, Bucci suggests. There’s some magic intertwined with the creative practice.  

“We first make sure that we understand all the requirements, the context, the users, the timeline and the budget,” says Bucci. “These steps are always necessary. Then we go into a ‘dreamstorming’ session where we freely explore all sort of ideas until we are able to craft a thoughtful storyboard for the project that satisfies the requirements and our creativity.”

BG Studio Celebrity Cruises’ ship, Celebrity Ascent

BG Studio created the Art Gallery onboard Celebrity Cruises’ ship, Celebrity Ascent

It’s hard to define greatness in design in an objective way, as it is subject to the perspectives of the designer, client and user. However, Bucci identifies some of her own measures of a successful project.  

“I wish I knew the magic formula!” she says. “But context and client-specific goals is where we always start. If I can only apply three parameters, I will choose innovation, aesthetics and engagement.” 

She explains: “Innovation is not just about bringing something new to the table, it’s about solving a challenge with one eye to the future and the other to the users of the space. Aesthetics and engagement go often hand in hand and they play a huge role in how people perceive and connect with a certain design, how they interact with it and enjoy being in that particular space.” 

Bucci takes satisfaction in successfully completing a project, but for her, the outcome is determined by the guests. 

“In the end, it is all about creating an experience that captivates the guests and keeps them coming back for more,” she says. “If a design is able to achieve that, I think it’s likely to be considered truly great.” 

This article was first published in the 2024 issue of  Cruise & Ferry Interiors. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe  for FREE to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox. 

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