In Episode 2: Extraordinary Design, we talk to the legendary Luiz De Basto, Chief Designer of the powerhouse that is DeBasto Designs. Luiz talks to us about next-generation glass technology, self-reflective design, and the beauty of staying small.
“The definition of success is not to be big; it’s to be better. To be better than you were last year,” says Luiz De Basto, head of the Miami-based De Basto Designs studio, the brand responsible for the award-winning 90m Oceanco yacht DAR (commonly referred to as project “Shark”). “For me, it’s to grow in my business to be better. Every time I do something, be better than I did last year or two years ago.”
De Basto—a lifelong lover of art, cars, and architecture, is one of the great behemoths of the superyacht industry. For over three decades, he has consistently delivered over 200 custom yachts of all sizes for the world’s finest shipyards. His repertoire also includes the 53m Tala and 62m Nautilus (both from Turquoise), the 24.8m Intermarine, and the 60m Mondomarine Sea Falcon. His work with curved glass and Formglas Spezial glazing technology, however, make Cosmos and DAR superstars of the open water.
90m Cosmos with a glass dome. Image: Luiz De Basto.
Here are the takeaways from our discussion:
- Curved glass technology creates extraordinary design possibilities and brings yacht owners closer to nature.
- Safety and ergonomy are non-negotiable in yacht design.
- Glass, open layouts, and nature are primary influences for yachting and residential projects.
- The self-referenced design is a yacht design.
- A new residential project in Okinawa, Japan, and a 70m yacht will be announced soon.
Luiz De Basto, President Chief Designer of De Basto Designs. Image: Luiz De Basto.
De Basto is a keen observer of nature and likes to get inspiration from the animal, vegetable, and mineral worlds. “Nature”, he says, “has inspired the design business for a long time. Sharks, in particular, have achieved what we call stasis, a state of equilibrium, an evolutionary plateau.
Oceanco & De Basto Designs’ 90m DAR. Image: Luiz De Basto.
Project “Shark”, he goes on to say, “drew inspiration from the hammerhead shark. Of course, we are not designing a shark but a yacht so, the shark is just the starting point, not the arrival point.” Hence, self-referenced.