Name: Stef-Albert Bothma
Company: STEF ALBERT
Position within company: President and Owner
. What direction do you feel design is moving towards in general terms?
A greater focus on comfort and integrating state-of-the-art technology with design.
. Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2016 and beyond.
High-tech, environmentally sensitive products, comfort, digital art, less wires and more speed.
. And key trends that we should be aware of?
Our world is changing rapidly and relying more and more on digital capabilities on every level including the luxury and functionality of interiors.
. What projects are you currently working on?
A Chateau and new Winery Cellars in Provence, Manor Home in Moscow, Penthouse in Singapore, Ranch House in Montecito California, Mansion in Los Angeles, three Apartments in Manhattan, Riad in Morocco, Apartment in Florence, Apartment in Rome, Apartment in Aix-en-Provence, my various product lines.
. If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Always allow the environment and location to determine the design and coloration. A colour or aesthetic that is quintessential New York may not work in Los Angeles at all because of the light exposure and geographical differences. Never follow trend and be original. Always imagine the space twenty years into the future. Will it still be beautiful or passé? Your project will always dictate what it needs so listen well and pay instinctive attention to what it requires.
. A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?
Balance is very important and variety is key. When one eats just one kind of food you grow bored and even ill. Therefore, the life of the creative person must include equilibrium between work and play. My work and international projects demand much travel from me. Therefore I always combine play with work. I design each day as though it is a room; utilizing balance, playfulness, creativity and focus.
. How important are The International Yacht and Aviation Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
While there is ample international talent, an award such as the IYAA provides a springboard for greater public awareness and exposure for the creative professional. An actor cannot act unless he has an audience and likewise, the creative professional relies on an audience to create and go from strength to strength. In the end, it is not just about recognition, but the beauty of sharing and inspiring others with our work that makes an award such as this unique.
. What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To continue living and working with dedication and passion.
. Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
The car you drive?
When in Provence, a 1967 230 SL Mercedes Convertible. when in New York a Range Rover Sport, when in Rome, a 1969 Alpha Romeo Spider
Your favourite place to travel to in the world?
Your favourite hotel/ restaurant/ bar?
La Colombe d’Or Saint Paul de Vence
The place that gives you the most energy?
My design studios and art studios
And the place that enables you to totally relax?
My homes and nature
Your favourite food and drink?
Belgian Chocolates, French Champagne and Truffles
Anything else interesting?
I like variety and cannot design or create just in one style. Likewise, my homes are vastly different from one another. I can live and dress formally with opulence and refinement, or simple, minimalistic, informal, rustic or eclectic. I believe it is vital to draw from many different realities in order to express yourself freely. The aspect I enjoy most about my work is that each client and project is entirely different. Like an actor, I take on the part and play the role to my very best capabilities. I listen well, observe and execute creatively according to the script. I am flexible and forever changing and I think it is vital to refresh oneself constantly. Never allow yourself to grow stale for there is too much creative potential and beauty in the world to play the same part over and over.