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Design philosophy

Founded by James Claydon and Mike Reeves, Claydon Reeves is a diverse studio with 50 years of collective experience. It is driven by a strong passion to create and deliver distinctive and progressive designs through a client driven process. With experience across a range of disciplines, from luxury interior and furniture design to automotive and yacht design, the team has been involved in the design and build of a multitude of yachts between 30 and 100m at many of the world’s premier shipyards.

Claydon Reeves strives to create the perfect finished product for a client that goes beyond the design, to deliver the ultimate ocean, land or air experience. To achieve this the design process has to be collaborative, with client involvement wherever possible. We work closely with our clients, and their families where relevant, to achieve an end product the client will be proud to sail, live in, drive or fly.

This process isn’t a one-way street either, as we provide guidance throughout the project. This knowledge comes from years of experience and a deep understanding of the yachting industry and the wider market in sectors such as automotive, residential and aeronautical.

Analogue skills in a digital age

One of the weakest links in the execution of any design project is poor communication. We take pride in using multiple mediums such as hydroform models, renders and sketches to quickly and efficiently communicate ideas between the client, builder and project management teams. After the initial design brief is created we start exploring a multitude of ideas, reviewing the volumes and proportions we create as we go. We never rely on one medium for analyzing our shapes but instead we combine analogue sketching with digital computer aided design (CAD) to achieve the best results. In doing so, it reinstates the human quality to our designs — an element which so often missing.

This approach is an effective communication method, which when combined with a fresh and focused work ethic played a significant part in Mulder Shipyard’s ability to deliver the 34m M/Y Solis, in just 22 months.


Computer aided design (CAD)

In boat and house building, one of the biggest advances in more recent history is the introduction of CAD. This technological breakthrough provides great support to many industries as it can verify data and highlight some of the problems with a project at an early stage.

However, when CAD is used as the sole implement it can dictate terms of design possibilities and more importantly their limitations. It is therefore important to be mindful of what this technology is, which essentially is a tool equal to a pencil, model making and a tape measure. It can never replace design philosophy and human skill, and designs created solely with the aid of CAD are, more often then not, lacking in warmth and detail. Both are key elements to delivering a personal and moving design.

Humanising modern materials and techniques

There have been remarkable advances in materials and state of the art lighting. Combined they open fantastic new opportunities for designers in how they deliver a creation and what they can offer to their clients. With the help of traditional and highly skilled craftsmen, these materials transform a design into reality — adding the ‘human touch’ to the final product. We take pride in using all these elements to their full potential as they give warmth to the design — something a machined process on its own cannot achieve.

The catalyst

The client is the catalyst for every project. Their wishes and visions are the basis of the creative process and design development. The relationship has a huge impact on the project — building a yacht, tender, house, jet or car is the beginning of a journey, an unforgettable experience for all parties involved and one that should be enjoyable.

It is critical for the designer to clearly understand the requirements of the client as it is important that the client believes in the skill of the designer to deliver to expectations. The most successful and rewarding projects are where there is a mutual respect between all parties involved and the ability to freely communicate.

With an office in Kensington, London and the studio in Lymington, it couldn’t be easier to meet clients and relevant parties on a project.