An interview with Pierre Josselin, Senior Designer of the Reimagine Azamara staterooms.
Reimagining every stateroom onboard the Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest is no small feat. It takes all hands on deck to assemble an innovative product that pays homage to Destination Immersion® experiences. It also requires a lot of hands off deck, and that’s where Pierre comes in. Pierre Josselin is the Senior Designer responsible for bringing our stateroom vision to life. We’d tell you more, but we’ll let the man himself do that.
Q: Hi Pierre! Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
A: I am from Paris, originally. After graduating with a design degree, I spent a year in New York to learn English. I fell in love with the city and decided that I would live and work here one day. I went back to Europe and, not to lose my English, I moved to London where I lived for 8 years. Initially, I worked on corporate projects, until a friend introduced me to Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA), an international design firm. At the time, I honestly had no idea what hospitality design was, but very quickly got to love it and never looked back.
Q: How did you get started in interior design initially?
A: In design school, I couldn’t draw a silhouette, so fashion was out. I didn’t want to spend my entire day in front of a computer, so graphic design was out. I was always attracted to spaces and how to improve them to make you feel better, so I pursued interiors.
Q: Where are you currently?
A: After 10 years with HBA, I eventually pursued my dream and made it back to New York, where I am currently with Wimberly Interiors.
Q: Tell us a bit about Wimberly Interiors and your role.
Wimberly Interiors is a design consultant for the hospitaltity, leisure, and entertainment industries. We are cosmopolitan, imaginative and passionate about design that immerses every guest in a unique story. Our goal at Wimberly Interiors is to intrigue and inspire our clients with solutions that embrace refined, bespoke design. We choreograph spaces around individual moments as the guest experiences them. These compelling narratives shape our design and create indelible impressions. We collaborate with iconic luxury brands and hospitality operators to create suites that guests enjoy more - and differently - every time they stay. From idea to installation, from concept to check-in, we devote ourselves to telling the story of every room, from the broad narrative down to the smallest most meaningful details.
Personally, I am a Senior Interior Designer and Project Manager. I oversee the design direction and mentor the team from concept to production to completion.
Q: Storytelling is a big part of the Azamara brand. Seems like your philosophy is on the same page.
Yes. It’s really about escaping from daily life and finding somewhere unique to go to immerse yourself in that destination and experience.
Q: Did we just become best friends? No wonder Wimberly was chosen for this project. Can you take me through the process for designing the staterooms?
We met with Azamara for a kickoff meeting where they shared their vision of the brand and how the design should reflect that vision. We toured the ships to understand the existing condition and what we were working with with.
From there, we began creating the concept with images and sketches. After the concept was approved, we moved forward with the renderings.
Q: I know you’ve been working closely with Azamara’s Hotel Operations on this project. Can you speak on that collaboration process?
Hotel Operations is the one who briefed us and spoke about their vision. Our role was very much to translate these words into images and create a design supporting this vision. We are lucky that they had a clear vision of what the design should be/feel like, which only made our job easier.
Q: Speaking of collaboration, I’ve been told there are other design teams working on separate areas of the ship and I’m sure the goal is to have everything coordinate, no?
Yes. It was interesting at the design presentation. They presented their part, we presented ours, and it was almost like there was one design team that did the entire ship. It coordinated seamlessly.
Q: Sounds like that is another testament to a clear vision. How would you explain the vision and goals for this Reimagine project?
The overall concept was Destination Immersion, local, emotion, romantic, slowing down, re-energizing, discovering, mesmerizing. We came at it with a jewelry box approach: refined, tailored, sleek and modern, Calvin Klein inspired, with some organic elements to give a sense of authenticity. It’s a very international design.
We wanted to break away from what you’d typically expect from a cruise ship, which is very colorful, a lot of bright colors, a lot of blue for the water and things that are obvious. We went with something much more subtle, much more elegant and timeless. More like a sunset rather than a bright shining sun.
Q: I feel re-energized just thinking about it. Where does your inspiration come from?
We like to bring some kind of elegance and refinement to whatever project we are working on. We use a lot of images found on Pinterest to support our vision. People respond better to images than words.
Q: See? Pinterest isn’t just about cute cupcake recipes. Would you say living in different parts of the world influences your style as well?
I guess in some way. I’ve never really thought about it. I think it does expose you to different peoples’ styles and standards. In America, it’s bigger and better while in Europe it’s more refined and petite. The Middle East feels more European style-wise, while South America is more like the states.
Q: I’m excited to experience the finished project. Any last words?