UK. London “I grew up in a family where creativity and artistic expression was very much encouraged, and it has always been a natural part of my life,” explains Johannes Torpe; “I often say I grew up with a paintbrush in one hand and a drumstick in the other.” The eponymous founder of Johannes Torpe Studios and the first creative director of Bang & Olufsen, Torpe is known worldwide for his distinctly unconventional creative approach.
Wholly embracing the phrase ‘holistic design’, Torpe explains to SuperyachtDesign how this belief enhances his approach to each project, “It is not about design or style. It is about creativity … the task is to stop thinking about ourselves as designers or architects, but to think of ourselves as people who embed our creative thinking into everything we do.” Working extensively throughout Scandinavia and Asia, Torpe cites people as his primary source of inspiration, “To meet a new person with a perspective of the world that is different from my own can open up whole new levels of creativity and give me bursts of inspiration.”
Creative director of Bang & Olufsen since 2012, Torpe introduced the brand’s innovative retail concept, where customers could interact with products and experience the technology by connecting their own smartphone. This concept of immersive design originates in Torpe’s first project opening a nightclub, where the team “did everything, from the soap dispensers to the actual space.” This idea of ‘branded space’ is used by Johannes Torpe Studios across their broad portfolio of projects, from individual product design to restaurant spaces.
A keynote speaker at this month’s SuperyachtDESIGN Week, Torpe is eager to remould the industry’s methods, “From my experience, yachts are typically decorated to meet the needs of a very specific and narrow target group. I think it is time for us to make private yachts into something more than a luxury space, and create space that embodies authenticity.” Remaining elusive about what SYDW guests can expect from his session, Torpe vows to stay true to his reputation as a design maverick, “I can tell you, I will do my upmost to give [the audience] food for thought and provide [them] with inspiration.”
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