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Phuket Lifestyle: Asia is seventh heaven for Chapman’s yacht designs



PHUKET: Born into a family of architects in England, it is hardly surprising that Jody Chapman became interested in product design and eventually graduated with an honors degree in industrial design from the University of Brunel in Surrey.

He later went to work for the luxury car manufacturer, Austin Martin, where he used his design talents on the V8 Vantage. Jody also worked with a team of engineers who produced Jaguar and Landrover models.

After six years, he decided that he wanted to work in a smaller company where his own design ideas could be realized. He joined a firm, as project manager, that designed boats built around the world. Jody explains that he has tried to draw inspiration from sources other than superyachts and often cites automotive cues. His favorite ever car is a P4 Ferrari which he claims “is a near perfect icon where performance has been interpreted by artists and craftsmen”.

“I believe many of the innovations in world class cruising and racing will occur in Asia so I have moved my design studio to Singapore,” he explained. “Europeans are building their yachts in Asia due to the much lower construction costs whereas Asians are looking for yachts in Europe as they are more brand conscious. I hope to be able to offer bespoke interiors and exteriors to both markets.”

Jody plans to bring innovation and his creative personal vision to yacht design in the region.

“I’m incorporating Asian design concepts such as feng shui and regional building materials like bamboo, moveable screens and open spaces to update interior spaces on yachts. The quality of light is incredible in Southeast Asia and I’m intrigued about using it in my design vocabulary,” he continues. “I think that yacht design tends to lag behind the innovations in architecture. So I’m hoping that the dynamic economies of Asia, including Thailand will be a good place for my design ideas.

“Design and construction of yachts can happen with teams working from a variety of locations. Each part of the design process can be made from a separate studio that must coordinate with the owner or their representative. The whole process can be very bureaucratic and challenging. I believe I can simplify the process of design and construction and speed up the entire process in getting a finished product to the client,” said Jody.

With a background in and a passion for architecture Jody has always felt that yacht design has a tendency to lag behind and a lot can be learned from contemporary Asian interior design. One of his recent favorites is that of President’s Design award winner 26 Cable Road by ip:li architects in Singapore.

From his new studio, Seventy Seven Design, in Singapore, Jody plans to act as the conduit for Chinese and East Asians who want a stylish and competitive racing or pleasure yacht. He also plans to diversify his design work into creating fresh interiors for corporate jets.

“I like to work with clients who have an open mind and are interested in looking to the future of design. I expect to be very busy,” said a smiling Jody.

— Bruce Stanley


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