To analyze a boat with the its interior designer is an incredible opportunity for a journalist. Furthermore, if the designer in question is Christian Grande, the guest on board should prepare himself to face a fascination travel through the very concept of design, where fabric and shape details progressively become an end or starting point towards new considerations, an opportunity to open new horizons and a pretext to satisfy new curiosities.
Sitting in the living room of the Cranchi M 44 Ht, we realize that no structural changes have been made on this boat. However… we seem to be standing in another universe. Colours are not just clear but feature particular juxtapositions that suggest a direct close connection between them; mirrors are located in specific positions where depth is highly enhanced; materials and lacquered details are part of a considerable design intervention which finally returns a new boat to the market.
“I worked – Christian Grande tells us – by following a unique central idea. What I wanted to create was a product with soft effects where both colours and fabrics were able to absorb light with no contrasts. So, I selected soft nuances which perfectly matched the grains of the wood we used for interiors”.
Did you take care of exteriors, too?
Only marginally. I confined myself to redesigning the pilot’s armchair looking for some additional contrasts along sides. So, I removed upholsteries and – unlike what I experienced below deck – I enhanced colour differences in some details.
As for the interiors of the Cranchi 44, you claim that no structural changes have been made. However, spaces look completely different. Why?
I confirm this: bulkheads and volumes are the same than the previous model. What we deeply changed is the perception of both distances and spaces. We changed some components, such as the dinette table that now can be easily converted into a vis-à-vis coffee table.
Yes, of course! Design should be the expression of style and function, otherwise it would be just art and engineering, which is completely different even though equally fascinating! If a designer creates wonderful items just to satisfy his ego, he is unlikely to design boats for a company like Cranchi.
What do you mean by that? Are you saying that a good designer is the one who accepts compromises?
I think that there’s nothing wrong in the intelligence of finding a good compromise. However, I prefer to call it “sensitivity”, that is the capacity to combine the pursuit of style with the concrete possibility to build an item at affordable costs for the company you work for. Furthermore, style cannot be separated from the shipyard’s identity when productions like the Cranchi‘s one are concerned. Consequently, you should invent an accessible design also in the light of a precise identity.
By the way, you have been collaborating with Cranchi for one year and half. What’s your assessment of this opportunity?
I’m really satisfied and I want to point it out. What we’ve established is a strong relationship of trust. And trust in the productive skills of a shipyard is an essential thing for a designer. Then, there’s the human relationship. Aldo Cranchi respects me, he devotes his time and advice to me and his visions constantly direct my choices.
Your last project designed for Cranchi is the XT36 whose official presentation is scheduled to take place in Dusseldorf. What can you tell us about this boat?
It’s a crossover boat that connects two different worlds: an emotional sphere which gathers slower experiences and a more dynamic and sporty universe. It’s a perfect combination that results from specific stylistic motifs inspired by trawlers, where high speed is not a priority but where entertainment and dynamism play a key role. Moreover, we’ve decided to offer a wide range of options in terms of paintings and colour combinations. Some are more moderate…others are much more audacious…