Sam Sorgiovanni

CEO, Sorgiovanni Designs

Sam Sorgiovanni established his Design Studio in 1997, after 12 years experience working for the progressive Australian shipbuilder Oceanfast and under the design direction from the legend, the late Jon Bannenberg. It was the Australian 'can do' attitude and practical experience gained worked for a shipyard that enabled Sam to develop an in depth practical understanding of all disciplines required in the design and build of yachts. Over the years under Jon’s guidance and mentoring, Sam was given the opportunities to develop and express his own style and keen sense of detail which has been the essence and foundation of his Studio. Sam Sorgiovanni has more that 30 years experience in the industry and may of his designs have been recipient of recognition from the ISS in recent years and years past.


What does it mean to you to be an ISS judge?

Being selected as a judge is truly an honour, with more than 30 years experience in Yacht Design it’s nice to be associated with the ISS Design Awards which I was so lucky to receive back in 1997 which helped me to launch my own design studio.


What do you like about the ISS Design & Awards Gala?
What I Like about the ISS Design and Awards Gala is that it’s a gathering of like-minded industry individuals who come together once a year in Florida to celebrate the best the industry delivered in the preceding year. It’s a great event and a highly prized awards event on the industry calendar.

How did you get your start in the yachting industry?
Soon after graduating from a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Design, I was fortunate enough to score a Job at the then relatively new upstart yacht company called Oceanfast. Over 12 years,  I developed a unique appreciation of designing and detailing yachts penned by my mentor the late and great, Jon Bannenberg, the undisputed genius and father of Yacht Design. Under JB’s guidance and those at Oceanfast, responsible for building some of JB’s most iconic yachts, I developed the intimate understanding of how a yacht is designed and built which has served me well to this day.

What is your favorite part of your job? Why?

The Most rewarding part of my job is meeting so many wonderful people, from fellow designers, to ship builders but most of all our may and varied Clients. I find it truly inspirational to hear their life’s stories and share the special relationship developed over creating their dream yacht.


Who has influenced you the most? Why?
As mentioned previously, It’s without question Jon Bannenberg, who was my mentor for the early part of my career .. To this day I still find inspiration in his body of work but more so in sharing may of his philosophies and approach to design.


Where do you find inspiration? Why?

Well, I try not to look at other yacht for inspiration as I feel its important to always be at the front making a new path forward rather than looking back. So for this reason I like to find inspiration from nature and other industries. Most of my designs have an organic form with curves shapes and colours found in nature, but I also take inspiration from man made objects like Automobiles, planes and other objects . Then I allow my designs to develop in a fluid way, I never really know where my designs will end as they evolve over step by step.


What do you see are upcoming trends in the industry?
Without Question, motor yachts have evolved over recent years and are now bigger and more extravagant than ever!
The quest and mindset that “Big is best” must change , maybe to “leanest and mean”? So I think we will start to see some innovative technologies transform yachts as we know them today.. The trimaran hull form, for example, has great potential as its o much more efficient. Combined with other technologies such as Solar, wind generators or rigid sails I believe Yachts can one day be extremely efficient with zero emission being the ultimate target.


What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve gotten?
Greatest Piece of advice in my life came from my father , ‘if you leave the road most travelled seeking a better way, be sure you know the road you choose ”.. This resinated with a phrase Jon Bannenberg once mentioned to me in response to a meeting he had with an inexperienced client rep. “ Ignorance and arrogance is a lethal combination”.