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Interview With Yacht Designer Julien Cadro: A Future With Sophisticated Eco Yachts

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Meet Julien Cadro, a young French yacht designer that first came to our attention with his Avatar looking “Ecoo” superyacht concept submitted to the Rossinavi Design Challenge.

A recently graduated design student, Julien holds a Masters in Transportation Design and had the opportunity to intern with Sarrazin Design, working on projects for yacht builders Bénéteau and Jeanneau and also completed an internship at Alps Design Lab, working for Archamps Technopole on the implementation of an autonomous vehicle service throughout Geneva.

I took the opportunity to ask Julien Cadro a few questions to get to know him better and understand a little more about his design history and his thoughts regarding yacht design and life in general.

Julien Cadro Longitudinalis superyacht design aft view
The unique glass pool of Julien Cadro’s Longitudinalis sailing yacht design. Credit: Julien Cadro
Portrait of French Yacht Designer Julien Cadro
Portrait of French Yacht Designer Julien Cadro

BRENON

What is your story? Why did you choose design and specifically yacht design?

JULIEN

I decided to study design because I always loved beautiful objects and I was fascinated by people who can create something from a white paper to a final object. I grew up next to the ocean in France so every weekend I saw some boats and step by step I became passionate about those boats. I remember the sea trip that I did with my neighbour, who had a boat, and the feeling of freedom that you can have on a boat. I think that’s why I preferred designing some boats although I was passionate about cars too.

Julien Cadro's Longitudinalis sailing yacht design
Julien Cadro’s Longitudinalis sailing yacht design. Credit: Julien Cadro

BRENON

You studied transportation design at the International Strate School of Design. What was that experience like and what are some of your highlights of your time there?

JULIEN

That was not especially a good experience because I didn’t want to become a car designer so it was not really interesting to me and my relation with the mobility design director was not good (he didn’t really care about his students unfortunately).

BRENON

What is your earliest memory of being interested in design?

JULIEN

I don’t have any particular memory but, since I was a child, I was drawing, especially cars, boats and bikes.

Julien Cadro's Solis superyacht design aerial view
Julien Cadro’s Solis superyacht design. Credit: Julien Cadro
Julien Cadro's Solis superyacht design aft view
Solis would be an explorer yacht with helicopter facilities and a garage below. Credit: Julien Cadro

BRENON

Do you come from an artistic/design-oriented family?

JULIEN

Absolutely not haha! My father is an engineer and my mother is a quality and safety trainer so my parents are really not artists.

BRENON

What does your design process look like? How long does it take to create a design you are happy to share with others?

JULIEN

Most of the time, I begin choosing a boat typology (monohull, catamaran, megayacht, small boat…) depending on a target. After, I do some quick sketches to find an interesting shape. Once I have a good shape, I begin the modelization and I find many shape adjustments thanks to the 3D modelization.

BRENON

What kind of designs do you envision yacht owners of the future will want to see?

JULIEN

I think that yachts have to be attractive and thanks to the increasing of the technology we are able to do more sophisticated shapes, that’s what I wanted to show with my Speculo concept. We have to consider the environmental side too and more and more people are concerned by this issue and want to take care of our planet, that’s why I did the Ecoo concept, to show that we can do “Eco-friendly” yachts. So to answer your question, I think we will see sophisticated and green yachts in the future and I hope I will be one of the people who will design them

Julien Cadro's Speculo superyacht design aerial view
Aproaching superyacht Speculo by helicopter. Credit: Julien Cadro
Julien Cadro's Speculo superyacht design aft view
The unique aft of Julien Cadro’s Speculo superyacht design. Credit: Julien Cadro
Julien Cadro's Speculo superyacht design side view
Julien Cadro’s Speculo shimmers at sunset. Credit: Julien Cadro

BRENON

What are some of your own favourite design projects to date and can you briefly explain the story behind them?

JULIEN

One of my favourite concepts is “Navis” because it was designed for disabled people. It’s not a yacht but a small 6.3 meters sailing boat but I think it’s my smartest project. That was my thesis project so it’s really a full project from the exterior styling to the development of a new kind of tiller, adapted to the disabled people.
I am currently working on a catamaran yacht, I have to confess that I am quite proud of this project.

Julien Cadro's 6.3 metre trimaran sail boat design Navis
Julien Cadro’s 6.3 metre trimaran sail boat design Navis caters to the disabled. Credit: Julien Cadro

BRENON

Why would a future client choose to work with you?

JULIEN

I’m a young designer so I think I have a fresh vision of what a yacht could be. If people have a look to Speculo or Ecoo I hope they can see unconventional yachts and appreciate them. I am passionate about designing yachts so I’m always looking for perfection.

Julien Cadro's Ecoo superyacht design side view
Julien Cadro’s Ecoo superyacht design. Credit: Julien Cadro
Julien Cadro's Ecoo superyacht design aft view
Ecoo is designed as an Eco-friendly superyacht. Credit: Julien Cadro

“I’m a young designer so I think I have a fresh vision of what a yacht could be.”

Julien Cadro – French Yacht Designer
Julien Cadro's Ecoo superyacht design bow view
Superyacht Ecoo’s impressive waterline view. Credit: Julien Cadro

BRENON

Who are some of your favourite designers and why?

JULIEN

I particularly admire the work of Philippe Stark on the Sailing Yacht A because this yacht is really impressive. I love the work of different design studios like Lobanov, Sinot Design, Vripack, Winch Design, Tony Castro Yacht Design, Espen Oeino and Alberto Mancini too.

BRENON

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

JULIEN

I find inspiration in architecture especially as you can see on concepts like Solis or Ecoo.

Julien Cadro's Solis superyacht design side view
Julien Cadro’s Solis superyacht design inspired by architecture. Credit: Julien Cadro

BRENON

What have you been reading or watching lately?

JULIEN

I have seen the Formula One series (Drive to Survive) on Netflix, that was really inspiring. This is not linked to the design area but it gives you strength.

BRENON

Do you have any favourite websites/social media accounts you particularly enjoy?

JULIEN

I love all the accounts that are linked to yachts, as yours that I really love because it combines two of my passions: yacht and automotive. I like design and architecture accounts too like Dezeen or Design Boom for example.

BRENON

If you could have dinner with any 4 people, who would they be?

JULIEN

I think it will be with deceased people who lived different eras to organise a debate to know what era was the best. For example we could have Jules César, Gengis Khan, Napoléon and James Watt.

BRENON

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

JULIEN

My favorite one is Greece especially Santorini, it’s just beautiful. I travelled there ten years ago, and I just want to come back to this beautiful island.

Julien Cadro LUSSO Marron
Julien Cadro’s LUSSO Marron imagined at anchor. Credit: Julien Cadro
Julien Cadro LUSSO Marron design
LUSSO Marron sailboat design by Julien Cadro. Credit: Julien Cadro

BRENON

What do you like to do in your free time to relax/re-charge?

JULIEN

It’s a little bit silly but I love driving especially in the seafront, to breathe some fresh air.

BRENON

What is the best gift you’ve ever received?

JULIEN

That was my first car that I received for my 18th birthday. That was my dream car, a Lotus Elise mark 1.

BRENON

Do you have any causes that are close to your heart?

JULIEN

Yes I am concerned about the environment. I am not an activist but I estimate that I had to design yachts in order to reduce the carbon footprint of a yacht.

Julien Cadro LUSSO Orange design
Julien Cadro’s LUSSO Orange design. Credit: Julien Cadro

BRENON

When do you feel the most creative? Are you a morning person or a night owl?

JULIEN

I was a morning person but thanks to my studies I am more a night owl now haha!

BRENON

Do you have any daily habits that help you focus when designing?

JULIEN

I always listen music to be focus on what I am doing.

BRENON

What advice would you give to new designer students just starting out?

JULIEN

You have to work hard and don’t give up if you are passionate!

Julien Cadro EX design
Julien Cadro’s yacht design named EX. Credit: Julien Cadro

BRENON

What tools do you use to design? E.g software, materials, hardware, books etc.?

JULIEN

I use especially Photoshop, Rhinoceros, Keyshot and many sheets of paper to draw.

BRENON

What might you have done if you had not studied transportation design?

JULIEN

I wanted to be an architect during my childhood. Maybe that’s why my main source of inspiration is architecture.

BRENON

Describe a dream project that you’d love to work on?

JULIEN

I would like to work on the most sustainable yacht in the world using all the new technologies available to reduce the carbon footprint. Maybe if Ecoo becomes a real yacht it could be a good starting point, so if rich people see this interview don’t hesitate to contact me haha!

Julien Cadro's Ecoo superyacht design
The view from Julien Cadro’s Ecoo would be spectacular. Credit: Julien Cadro

BRENON

Do you have any exciting works-in-progress or upcoming projects you can share with us?

JULIEN

Yes, I am working on a 50 meters catamaran project, so you will see that soon.

BRENON

If you could ask any other designer a question, who and what would it be?

JULIEN

My question is: “Can we be passionate about our work all our life?” and I hope the answer is “Yes”.

BRENON

How can you be contacted and where can people find more information on Julien Cadro designs?

JULIEN

People can see my work on www.instagram/juliencadro and can send me a message and I will answer them. They can have also take a look to my website at this link: https://jcadro.wixsite.com/juliencadro.

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