Acknowledged worldwide as an authority on the structural use of glass, James O’Callaghan has designed highly innovative staircases and facades, including that of many of Apple’s flagship stores around the world. He has also been involved in the future glazing evolution with Gorilla Glass properties with Corning exploring its potential for marine and architectural applications. O'Callaghan most notably designed the expansive glass used on the late Steve Jobs 78m Feadship yacht Venus where the glass sizes and structural ambition reached new levels for yacht applications. O'Callaghan recently spoke with ahead of his appearance at the Global Superyacht Forum, set to take place in Amsterdam from 18 - 20 November.

SYD: What is one of your most interesting projects to date?

The projects I have worked on with Apple are certainly the most important given that they have facilitated a seismic shift in the design ambitions of glass. This has forced the glass industry to react and adapt in such a way, that much more is possible that can be extended into many other industries such as that of yacht design and construction.

SYD: What is your involvement with the superyacht industry and why do you feel it is important?

We have been providing specific design advice on glass and its uses in yachts for the last five years, with some notable projects including Venus, the recently completed yacht by Feadship.

James O'Callaghan

SYD: Why do you think events like the Global Superyacht Forum are so important?

Events that promote the dissemination of experience and advice in the design and construction of anything are extremely important for those participating in any specific industry. Therefore, I see the value in the Global Superyacht Forum in bringing people, ideas, products and experience together to allow the industry as a whole to embrace the latest concepts of those outside their day-to-day environment.

SYD: What are some interesting and exciting changes you are seeing in your field at the moment?

Our experience is with glass and its multiple applications. We see many uses in the design of yachts that can embrace glass in more ambitious ways in terms of its structural capacity and available sizes. We see increasing trends in the changing geometrical forms of yachts and the challenges associated with more complex geometries combined with transparency that is a fertile ground for glass applications. We see other exciting uses for optimising weight by using light weight strong glasses such as Cornings Corilla Glass.

O'Callaghan will deliver a presentation and then speak on a panel of glass experts on Day 2, Tuesday November 19 from 11:30 - 13:00. If you have any questions you would like to submit to O'Callaghan or topics to be raised during this session, please contact Rebecca Curran. For full details on the programme please go to the website. If you would like to register your place, please contact Suzie on +44 207 801 1014,, or click here to register online.

We would like to thank our sponsors AdvanTec Marine, Awlgrip, Caterpillar, Clyde & Co., MTN, MTU Friedrichshafen, Palladium and Struik & Hamerslag.