This week’s DMTV Milkshake guest is Francesca Bucci, the Rome-born architect and founder of BG Studio International. Bucci practices hospitality on a grand scale – like 100,000 square feet of interiors for the Celebrity Flora super-yacht, specially designed to explore the fragile ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands. “Even well before the pandemic, travelers were increasingly looking for different types of experiences – and to experience cruising in new ways, whether somewhere off the grid or to places that were protected or private,” she says. “This led to the development of vessels that were smaller and could access different places – vessels that were more sustainable, and with more outdoor spaces. Designing Celebrity Flora for Celebrity Cruises – a sustainable uber-yacht just for 100 guests with 50 suites, and truly purpose-built to navigate in the Galapagos Islands – was a groundbreaking experience for us and for the industry.”
In this episode of Milkshake, Bucci also explores the many challenges of working in that environment, along with the responsibilities of designing for what is essentially a “captive audience,” Bucci says: “We’re always asking is, ‘What is the best experience that we can give to the guests and what can we offer them?’ We’re really focused on board experience – from culinary to spa, to recreation to fitness – and learning experiences, which are fundamental for the guests, as they become more and more sophisticated and really enjoy experiencing things that they don’t usually experience at home.” She also shares her larger philosophy on the tenets of hospitality – and how they might be applied to slightly inhospitable places, like drop-in medical clinics or the ever-humbler post office. “This is a place where most of us go often,” she says. “Wouldn’t it benefit from a facelift, to make the waiting and the sending experience a little bit less painful?”
Diana Ostrom, who has written for Wallpaper, Interior Design, ID, The Wall Street Journal, and other outlets, is also the author of Faraway Places, a newsletter about travel.
Milkshake, DMTV (Design Milk TV)’s first regular series, shakes up the traditional interview format by asking designers, creatives, educators and industry professionals to select interview questions at random from their favorite bowl or vessel. During their candid discussions, you’ll not only gain a peek into their personal homeware collections, but also valuable insights into their work, life and passions.