It’s the first time we have seen Venus $120m Steve Jobs yacht int the open sea like this, offering a peek at design. It looks like a summer home from this angle. Steve Jobs 256-foot-long super-yacht caused waves both in the water and online when it was spotted near the British Virgin Islands this past weekend.
In a manifesto published in 2003 for the exhibition dedicated to his work at the Pompidou Center, he tells the story of a prank pulled on a client who wanted to commission him a yacht : he had advised him to first go for a swim to see whether he truly needed a boat! Later, a “gorgeous woman,” whose name he does not mention, made him a new offer that he declined because he found the very idea of a yacht “structurally vulgar.” The lady, cunningly, defied him to build one that avoided vulgarity, and for her he designed Wedge Too. Six years later, in 2008, Starck conceived the A for Andrey Menichenko, the Russian oligarch. 119 meters long and weighing 6000 tons, it’s one of the greatest motor yachts ever made, and its cost was an estimated $300 million. Its aggressive form was the object of very lively criticism: in an article on January 23, 2008, the Wall Street Journal even wondered whether it wasn’t “the world’s ugliest boat.”
Steve Jobs told the story of his yacht’s creation stating that Philippe Starck simply “helped” him design its interior design. It would be an understatement to say the latter did not appreciate this delegation. He considers himself the true parent of this floating unidentified object made of aluminum and glass, with its perfectly flat teak bridges and a beveled prow. If he is speaking—“for the first and the last time,” he emphasizes,—about his work on this project, and his relationship with Jobs, it is not only to provide “ a more nuanced analysis” of the strange client who commissioned it, but also, in great part, to set the record straight.
On the second reunion and contact between them, Starck arrived “with all the drawings.” He was carrying a large suitcase—“1.2 meters, 1.3 meters,” he deems—that contained the mock up of the future yacht. After a moment of perplexity, Jobs was wonderstruck and supposedly exclaimed: “It’s more than I could never [sic] imagine.” Starck’s freeform translation: “The world’s most powerful man, known as being the most intransigent, incapable of saying thank you or bravo, was telling us, “This is beyond all my dreams.””
He had said he “was not planning on buying a yacht.” But Venus was not going to be just any yacht.
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs