A family cabin designed by Joi Design

2019 has been a gala year for JOI-Design. The eminent German design company have been recognised for their outstanding hospitality work with several nominations and awards. We had the opportunity to talk to Peter Joehnk, Managing Partner of JOI-Design and speaker at the Cruise Ship Interiors Expo conference and learn more about how they do it! Read on to discover Peter’s takes on upcycling, core design values and why designing a cruise ship is like designing a city…

JOI-Design is hosting a free-to-attend networking breakfast at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo on Thursday, 5 December 2019 at 8.30 a.m. Please RSVP to info@cruiseshipinteriors-europe.com to confirm your attendance.  

JOI-Design has won several awards and been involved in award-winning projects this year. Congratulations! Can you talk a little bit about what it is about JOI-Design’s approach to design that is so successful?

At JOI-Design, our philosophy is to empower our designers to trust their own design instincts. This means we don´t force them into a specific design direction, although we always make sure each project has an individualised approach. The only guidance we ask them to follow are JOI-Design’s core values: creating Culture; Memories; Authenticity; Innovation and Sustainability. 

Of course, our partners add their experience along the way, ensuring the design’s functionality and that it fits with the property’s target guests.

What projects have you particularly enjoyed working on recently?

Sorry to say boring words, but I really enjoy each project!

As a designer you don´t work for money, so joy is the thing that keeps JOI-Design running!

However, if I must be a bit more specific in my answer, I have to admit smaller projects bring me greater enjoyment because we get to see our dreams come to life sooner! From the time they’re designed to when they become reality only takes a few months. With larger projects, it’s a long road of many years, with a lot of hassles in-between. When the project finally finishes, I already have new ideas for its renovation.

This is one of the reasons it was especially fun to design the luxurious Mercedes-Benz Living collaboration for Fraser Suites Kensington in London, and also our “trend” suites at the Radisson Blu Frankfurt, which the German lifestyle interiors magazine Wohnidee commissioned us to design.

I’m currently having a great time developing the design concepts for an Autograph hotel in southern Germany.

What is inspiring to you in terms of design at the moment?

Inspiration is everywhere, from fashion, street life, production methods and new products to images found online. At the moment I’m particularly fascinated by “upcycling”. I like the idea of giving a second, completely different life to a product that previously had another function. Carpets made from used fishing nets; the reuse of rustic timber; rejigging existing furniture with new parts; hacking new, modern furniture into different configurations; tree trunks transformed into benches; and old light bulbs become sparkling reflections within a glass box.

How, if at all, does designing for spaces on board a cruise ship differ from your other work?

Ceiling heights are always a problem on cruise ships, while the need for fire protection reduces the options for materials. But on the whole, spaces are treated similarly, whether on board or on land.

Your talk at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo Europe is titled, ‘Design Forecasting’. Without giving too much away, can you give us an idea of the topics you’ll be covering and what you’ll be discussing?

Designing a cruise ship is like designing an entire city with many different features and styles. They are huge, with such a wide range of restaurants, bars and entertainment spaces. On land, a hotel is just a hotel – it can be designed with one unified concept across all its areas. But to me, many cruise ships have gone a bit “overboard” with their designs. They frequently make me think Las Vegas was the city used as inspiration. My intention would be to design a cruise ship along the lines of a European city, perhaps an old one, which also has all sorts of different buildings and highlights. This version’s design would be more cohesive with stronger and clearer design principles.

See Peter Joehnk and other top cruise interior design names speak at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo Europe, 4-5 December at Fira Barcelona. Register today for FREE.