CLB88: An Interview with Jozeph Forakis
H: We’re here to talk with multidisciplinary designer Jozeph Forakis today, about his work with CL Yachts, and on the award-winning CLB88, our newest 88′ motor yacht.
Jozeph, you’ve been in the design industry for a long time. You’ve studied many different fields within the industry over your career. Tell us something about your background.
J: So I’ve been involved in a lot of different types of design, from product design to user interface design to this idea of overall experience design. And I just have a never ending curiosity and a desire to always do something new and different, not to repeat myself, which has put me on this never ending journey to explore new areas. And specifically with yachting – that was one of my dream projects; to work on yachts. And so I’m really happy that in addition to furniture and lighting and watches and cell phones and computers, I can also turn my attention to and try to make a contribution with yachts.
H: Thanks, Jozeph. And it was precisely your expertise in so many different fields that led us to work with you for the branding and also the product design for clients. What would you say was your design brief when you approached CLB88?
J: CLB88 is, of course, the first project conceived and built under the new design vision and the new brand philosophy of CL Yachts, and as such, I was trying to combine a certain aspect of traditional nautical values, based on the heritage of the shipyard, together with more forward thinking focus on innovation, which is one thing that we’re really trying to turn our attention to going forward. The shipyard has a well-earned reputation for seaworthy craft that are both solidly built and also extremely lightweight, using state of the art composite material and construction techniques. And CLB 88 captures this idea of a fully modern flybridge yacht born from the love of the sea and the best that yachting has to offer, and combining this idea of the old traditional timeless values while embracing the new.
H: So in many ways, you really are bringing the best aspects of a classic motor yacht together with a modern aesthetic. What would you say was your favorite part of this project?
J: Well, it is significant that this is my first, if not my first yacht design, because, of course, as you know, we’re working on others. But this is my first yacht designed to be realized and built. And that in itself is like fulfilling a childhood dream. It’s also the first all new design for CL Yachts. For this design, I was trying to capture this idea of a yacht that endures in our imagination since childhood; of what a design of a yacht could be and can be, but then reinterpreted in a new, fresh, contemporary way. Seen with new eyes, but also with the fascination and maybe the innocence of a child.
H: We specifically wanted fresh eyes for this project. We’ve worked with naval architects and other designers before. Obviously, you know, we have a lot of history in terms of shipbuilding. But what we felt the industry was really lacking was an outsider’s perspective. And that is specifically why we chose you to design this product. With that in mind, is there anything that you feel you’ve really done differently for the 88 that you might not find on another comparable boat?
J: I think the exterior design captures this idea of a fully modern yacht, but one inspired by timeless values, this idea of something new, but also with memory. There’s a sense of memory about it. The law of the sea, let’s say. The interiors, on the other hand, this was an opportunity to do something completely new, to move in a new direction, but at the same time designed to create a dialogue with the outdoors and the exterior living spaces while you’re on board. The core idea of the interior is to blur the distinction between outside and inside.
Upon entering CLB88, one is struck by the large, long windows, all three uninterrupted views of seascapes and of surrounding nature, and also this loft like open space plan, which allows you to see literally from one end of the house full to the other, from the aft fully forward.
And this way, raw natural daylight is a material used as a core material in shaping the interiors, along with a combination of high tech and natural or noble materials, for example, such as carbon fiber and corian matched with hand stitched natural leather and satiny smooth oil rubbed walnut veneers. The overall effect of the spaces of the interior design of the mood is very clean, contemporary, one would say minimalist, but it’s a warm, humanistic, emotionally warm minimalism, not a minimalist aesthetic that leaves one cold and distant, but really embracing one in a very comfortable way.
Overall, with the spaces, with the proportion of the volumes and with the flowing of the surfaces, the subtle flowing curves of the walls and ceiling panels almost seamlessly flow together and are designed to remind you at all times in all places within the interiors that you are indeed on a vessel designed to transport you through time and through space. I wanted to capture the romance of travel.
But at the same time, exquisite execution of craftsmanship with modern and natural noble materials come together with volumes that allow the outside in and even the subtle curvature of surfaces or angles of the walls that subtly remind you that you’re in movement, that you’re in motion, that you’re being transported. I think it’s that overall combination, but also knowing what not to do that make it very fresh as an approach to the design of this boat.
H: That’s great and that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly what makes CLB 88 the motor yacht reimagined from the designer’s perspective. Jozeph, thank you for your time today.
J: You’re welcome, Hans. It’s really been a pleasure. Great to be here having this conversation with you and I really thank you and everybody at CL Yachts, for this voyage that we’ve started off on together and that we continue to explore new horizons with its it’s been a great ride up until now.