Alex McDiarmid

Alex McDiarmid

British-born, French-based multi-disciplinary designer Alex McDiarmid is the founder of McDiarmid Yacht & Design.

Alex has worked with some of the leading names in yacht design across the UK, France and Italy, including Gilles Vaton, Philippe Briand and Tony Castro.

This week, the design team reached the shortlist for the Concept Design over 50 Metres Award with MY Iwana. We look forward to sharing some images and information on the 85-metre project very shortly.

In the meantime, we take five minutes out with Alex McDiarmid…

Name: Alex McDiarmidMDDLogo

Company: McDiarmid Yacht & Design

Position within company: Owner & Designer


. What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?

Yacht design is starting to move forward from the traditional white, wedding cake tiered designs. New technologies and manufacturing techniques emerge, continually pushing boundaries.

. What projects are you currently working on?

We are currently working on a number of yacht projects and concept designs ranging from 50 to 150m. Our Industrial Design activities continue along with our motion picture design projects.

. A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?

A very supportive wife who keeps me grounded.

. Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2013 and beyond.

Open your eyes and observe.

Be inspired and use the world’s most powerful graphic chip, your imagination. 

Enjoy and be proud of what you do and achieve.

Work hard for there is no path to greatness.

With regards to design elements specifically, stick to clean shapes, good proportions and not too many decorative details – although success is in the detail. For the yacht industry innovation is the key factor.

. If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?

Always question why?, why not? and what if?

. How important are The International Yacht and Aviation Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?

Industry recognition is influential for designers and design studios. The International Yacht and Aviation Awards offer a great platform for creativity, design work and thinking to be recognised and showcased on a global scale.

. How do you relax?

Books, Films, Skiing, Friends.

. What are your aims and. goals for the next twelve months?

To continue to explore creativity, to innovate and cross pollinate our findings into the yacht design world while entering new and emerging markets. The process of design is very much alive and clients want something new for this very personal and unique yacht they are commissioning. We have the future to discover and if you cannot imagine it, you cannot build it…

. Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself

The car you drive?

Something German but nothing beats a good walk.

Your favourite place to travel to in the world?

The Indian Ocean

Your favourite hotel/ restaurant/ bar?

Shangri-La, Paris / La Gavroche, London / Ava Lounge NYC

The place that gives you the most energy?

The French Alps

And the place that enables you to totally relax?

At home in Aix-en-Provence

Your favourite food and drink?

Traditional French cuisine. Scottish Whisky.