Name: Agnieszka Bliźniuk
Company: Sunreef Yachts
Position within company: Concept Designer
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)
I had no idea I would become a ship designer. I took my first steps towards becoming a designer by studying architecture. However, when I was still studying I felt a desire to look for something related, but more niche-like. After having received my engineer’s degree, I chose another field of study – design, general design of functional forms. Amongst our design studios at the university, there was the ships design studio. I thought: “I’ve been living in Gdańsk since I started studying. The identity of this city stems from its shipbuilding industry. Where else could I learn to design ships if not here?”
I started working for Sunreef Yachts as a trainee selected through a competition. Then I worked as an interior designer. Two years later, when I was already an exterior designer, I started designing a new line of sailing catamarans.
The way I see it today is that my path, starting with my education, through my professional path up to now, allowed me to gain a wide overview of designing. Besides technical knowledge, architecture taught me the art of subtle dialogue with its receiver. Designing functional forms made me sensitive to human needs, ergonomic parameters and usefulness of products. Designing ships’ interiors allowed me to understand space, learn about the materials used on yachts and the profile of the client I am working for. Thanks to designing for the exterior design department, I was able to merge all these skills into one coherent entirety and draw from each one of them.
How would you describe your personal design style?
I try to balance freshness and elegance, but also add a relaxed approach towards trends. I believe that a good design should draw from the past and transfer crucial stylistic features of the legacy, enriching it with innovations. I’m not a fan of things that are too weird, eccentric, exaggerated in their innovativeness. Naturally, I love looking at novelties from the world of design, analysing them and making conclusions. However, I believe that a few drops of madness are better than a whole bucket. 🙂
Where does your design inspiration come from?
Definitely from the automotive design world. I also look for inspiring beauty in art, sculptures, artistic photography. I love the idea of a form being shaped by the light, analysis of a reflection on the surface.
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
I think that design becomes more “social” year by year. The issue of matching the product to the needs of the user is becoming increasingly important. It also concerns customising the product for one individual. We’re addressing the receiver, trying to analyse them, but above all to simply get to know and understand them as much as we can. The techniques used to get to know the receiver and the techniques of social researches will become more and more advanced. Thanks to the development of technology and availability of materials, customisation of products will also become less expensive.
Today, the designer synthesises collected information, draws conclusions and creates a product. I think that in the future, technology will allow to automate the creation based on selected data. It may lead to many benefits, but it also means consequences.
The ecological aspect is extremely important too. Within a few years, ecological approach towards designing will become the only right way.
As far as the forms and strong trends regarding their shaping are concerned, I believe that the future ones will be more and more biomorphic, soft, fluidal. Naturally, these forms will have a computer origin and will be mathematically describable.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2019 and beyond.
A closer client-designer relation
The beauty of simplicity
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Think of the life of the product you design. How it’s going to evolve, will it be adjustable, how will the design last and alter during its lifetime, how will it reflect times and decades changing. Remember – the end of your design work is in fact a beginning of your creation’s life.
How important are The International Yacht & Aviation Awards?
I like the fact that they focus on the features of a design, exclusively on the design, so strictly on my field of activity. An award in the competition would be an important professional achievement for me.
What projects are you currently working on?
My projects are getting bigger and more courageous. I am working on several big cats at the moment.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Continuing. Never stopping. Creating a smashing 40m & over cat design.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:
Your favourite holiday destination?
I don’t have a favourite one, I like discovering, feeling surprised with a new place and drawing as much as I can from it.
Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
I have this one hotel over a clear lake in the region of Masuria, in the bosom of nature, with a homely atmosphere. Ideal to hide from the world for a weekend.
I praise Play restaurant in Dubai most – for overall service – super delicious food, saxophone and vocal music.
Bar INK Above in Gdańsk with a terrace overlooking the Gdańsk Old Town.
Your favourite book, film & song?
Book: “The Alchemaster’s Apprentice” by W. Moers, [film:] “Black Mirror” – episode “San Junipero”, song: “Si jamais j’oublie”, particularly because of its lyrics.
Your favourite food and drink?
I’m a sushi lover. Drink – fruit tea with honey. Alcohol – white german wine – Riesling Spätlese
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
There are two ways – the first one is active to the maximum – shopping, cooking & gym till late evening hours and the second one – lazy – couch with good book and fruit tea with honey. If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A doctor. Really! I have always been into knowing and understanding people needs, problem solving, finding the best solution. The difference is that I work with all these principles creating, not curing.
Anything else interesting?
When I was young I suffered a 40% hearing loss for medically unexplained reasons. My stubbornness, abiding faith that I will make it on my own allowed me to reach everything that now accounts for my professional achievements and led me to the place in which I am right now. It has never been an excuse for me or a reason to give up on anything. Though it’s not always easy. I’m saying this only to motivate. You cannot give up. Ever and for any reason! 🙂