ARMAN recently reached the shortlist for the IY&A Awards 2014. Their project, Dune 75 (click to view), will compete for the Yacht Concept Design over 30 metre award. (To enter the awards email



Arman Fissette

Name: Arman Fissette

Company: ARMAN

Position within company: Director



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

A transition from superficial opulence to substantial experience. I think ever more consideration will be given to life and activities onboard and around the yacht, while in the past, superyachts were often designed around a fashionable visual style. A superyacht is worthless as a leisure product if it can’t deliver on an entertainment level. I think that’s also what explains the recent attractiveness of explorer-type superyachts.


What projects are you currently working on?

Two 80m. and 88m. superyacht designs I’m developing with different yards.


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

Only work on projects you are passionate about. With that, a large part of your work will be what you want to be doing with your day anyway.


Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2014 and beyond.

– Design for space and transparency

– Design for experiences, not just a status symbol

– Design less, but better / omit the non-essential and place the effort in the details

– Design for manufacturing efficiency, maintenance and disassembly

– Design outside your own comfort zone. The superyacht industry needs to innovate to attract new customers.


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

Find out what design credo you stand for as a designer and stick with it…good design is independent from fashion.


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

Very important since they are judged by a large number of design-aficionados instead of a select group of -sometimes biased- industry leaders. The “concept” category also allows promising designers to break through based on talent, not on their current brand value. Most awards just support those who are already established names.


How do you relax?



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

Present a new, innovative yacht design concept and help pull the superyacht industry forward.

Do the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore exam, and pass it!


Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself

The car you drive? – I think the car I drive actually doesn’t in any way reflect my personality. It’s just a tool.

Your favourite place to travel to in the world? – Where locals are open, joyous and honest; often in developing countries like Nepal or Bolivia. However, New Zealand also scores high on that level and nature there is top-notch and very varied!

Your favourite hotel/ restaurant/ bar? – Che Shale, a secluded kitesurf-hotel on the Kenyan coast, just north of Malindi, where food is unbelievable, service casual but correct and the guests looking for the perfect mix of relaxation and kitesurf adrenaline shots.

The place that gives you the most energy? – The high mountains, especially the Himalayas.

And the place that enables you to totally relax? – Mid-Atlantic, on a sailing yacht, with a steady 5BF on a broad reach, Hans Zimmer soundtrack playing and a clear starry night above…no-one on deck but myself.

Your favourite food and drink? – Belgian chocolate and ice-cold Coke. Simple as that!

Anything else interesting? – In life, when all are turning left, I tend to turn right. It’s automatic.