We hear from our Advisory Board member, Greg Walton, CEO of Studio DADO. Learn about his achievements and advice for all cruise interior designers.
Can you tell us about your current role and key responsibilities?
As CEO my key roles and responsibilities are tending to Studio DADO clients, developing new and existing client relationships, reviewing our design proposals and overseeing the running business of our growing firm.
What inspired you to start working in the cruise industry in particular?
I fell into the industry quite by accident. In the late 1980’s I worked for a design firm based in Baltimore, Maryland. While there we landed a contract with what was then Sitmar Cruises (they were purchased by P&O Princess). My first project in the cruise industry was the original Crown Princess.
What project are you particularly proud of and why?
A very hard question as there are many projects that I am very proud of for various reasons. I am lucky enough to have worked on Royal Caribbean International Oasis Class ships, the world’s largest cruise ships as well as the Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer “The Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built”.
There is also one unique project I designed that is not a cruise ship project; it was a dining room for a private residence in Lyford Cay, Bahamas. The design was based on the owner’s antique panels that came from a chateau in France. The room is akin to walking inside of a musical jewelry box.
Embrace everything that you are exposed to, whether it be design opportunities or travel.
With your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to an up and coming designer?
Embrace everything that you are exposed to, whether it be design opportunities or travel. As you never know how life’s experiences may lead you down a path you least expect to go. Always keep your eyes open.
Are there any key opportunities or challenges your industry faces at present?
Schedules and time frames, it seems design time is the part of the process being short-changed. Shipyards are demanding completed design information much earlier in the phase submittal process and owners are still finalizing and changing venues. Those two things are squeezing the design process on both ends.
What have some of the key design trends been over the past 2 years? Do you see these changing in the next 12 months?
Technology will be a big driver of change, especially as Millennials and Gen Z make up the majority of travelers as time moves on. Their needs and expectations have become an intrinsic part of any cruise interior design brief.
What do you hope to achieve at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo 2019?
As a founding Advisory Member, I’m excited about helping make this first event a success. With the expo being in Studio DADO’s backyard, our team will be participating. We look forward to meeting with our friends and colleagues from the industry.