The vision behind the design success

As one of the industry’s leading design firms, SMC Design is working with a number of partners to ensure great experiences for passengers

The vision behind the design success
SMC Design will work on Queen Mary 2
This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2016 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

When it comes offering exciting and challenging design solutions to the international marine industry, SMC Design is one of the field’s leading players. The company is currently involved in a variety of projects that span the global market.

“At SMC Design, we believe that the most important thing is to listen to each client, understand their dreams, and always add an element of surprise,” says Andy Yuill, the company’s managing director. “The reason that SMC continues to be successful is down to our collective experience, creativity and enthusiasm.”

The company is excited about the delivery of a new vessel for Dream Cruises for the developing Asian market. As sole architect for the vessel, SMC Design has coordinated and led every aspect of interior and exterior design, branding and artwork.

“While working extensively with both new and existing branded concepts, we quickly set about immersing ourselves in the culture and customs of the Asiatic region, as we sought to create an experience that would be truly Asian while considering the wider cultures of the vessel’s international guests,” says Andrew Brown, design associate at SMC Design.

As part of this project, the SMC Art Consultancy has been sourcing art on an international level and working with both established and renowned artists, as well exciting up-and-coming talent.

“We have recently returned from a sourcing trip to Asia where we visited local artists, galleries and manufacturers,” says Jennie Drummond, head of SMC Art. “We are curating an intriguing and vibrant collection of artwork to enhance the Dream Cruises story.”

The company’s modern outlook does not stop with art, as SMC Graphics is also involved in delivering one of the largest installations of digital signage on any cruise ship.

“This project will enable Dream Cruises to connect with their passengers through an array of digital solutions and devices in both public and cabin spaces,” says Anjaline Ram, head of graphics at SMC.

In June 2016, SMC Design will complete the refurbishment of Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, Carnival UK’s largest refurbishment project to date. SMC Design was given the opportunity to inject Cunard’s heritage and sophisticated design solutions into the vessel, encompassing the majority of suites and staterooms, restaurants and lounges. Cunard’s vision was to raise the design to the next level of luxury.

Liz Richardson and Martin Hendrata, both senior designers at SMC, say: “We have transformed designs to create elegant suites that represent an art deco-inspired style, while staying true to Cunard’s heritage. With coordinated use of colours and materials throughout the design schemes, we continue to establish Cunard’s unique identity”.

SMC is also involved in the creation of an iconic British cruise experience for Saga, with a newbuild at Meyer Werft scheduled for delivery in 2019. Ben Wilson, senior designer at SMC, explains: “It is incredibly thrilling to be working on a project for this British client; we are looking forward to developing a design style unique to this market.”

The debut of Viking Star has resulted in positive responses from the press and public. Viking Ocean Cruises’ first vessel has been listed as 2016’s best new ocean ship in the mid-size ship category by Berlitz Cruising awards, and was given the cruise industry’s highest five-star rating. Following the success of Viking Star, Viking has signed with Fincantieri to deliver five further ships. As lead architect, SMC will continue to support Viking with the launch of these vessels and the evolution of the Viking Cruises brand.

SMC Design has continued to develop the Norwegian Cruise Line brand with the arrival of Norwegian’s latest mega ship, Norwegian Escape. The company’s Liam Kirk has successfully delivered some fantastic new spaces such as The Cellar, The District Brew Bar and The Food Republic, to name but a few. SMC was responsible for the design of various public areas on Norwegian Escape, from the early concept stages right through to delivery in October 2015.

Next in line for the Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet is a purpose-built vessel for Asia. Senior designer Mike Abbott says: “SMC has been responsible for the design of numerous public areas which are sympathetic to this new market for Norwegian.”

“With such varied projects, understanding interior design trends is essential to maintain excitement for our clients,” concludes Matt Fyvie, associate at SMC. “Everyone at SMC is looking forward to being involved in all of these projects, and is eager at the prospect of seeing them through to their completion. SMC Design aspires to continue to push the boundaries of design expectations in this ever-expanding and challenging market.”

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016