Legend of Design: Giacomo Erasmo Mortola
No one would be surprised if, after having designed for some of the most famous cruise ships in the world, Giacomo Erasmo Mortola decided to take it easy. But that’s not what design legends do. Since forming his own firm in 1985 – GEM – Design For Cruise Ships – Mortola has been instrumental in the design and delivery of some of the biggest name vessels in the industry. And he continues to drive innovation: GEM assumed responsibility for coordinating Virgin Voyages’ brand new, ultra-modern fleet. From the classic design of Cunard’s Queen Victoria to the fresh face of cruising in Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady Mortola has indicated his hallmark is not defined by a certain style, but a high level of quality.
Mortola’s reputation looms large in the cruise interiors community – and not just because of his work on some of the biggest ships on the seas. He delivered the first ever mega ship in 1994 – to Princess Cruises – and would also launch the largest ever cruise ships to be built in Italy, Royal Princess and Regal Princess.
Mortola has also dedicated his time to developing the new generation of cruise ship architects and designers, teaching post-graduate masters courses at Università degli Studi di Genova and IUAV in Venice.
It comes as no surprise then that Giacomo Erasmo Mortola was recently named Legend of Design at the inaugural Cruise Ship Interiors Awards (CSIA). CSIA put out a call for nominations from the cruise industry, asking who they thought was worthy of the title, ‘Legend of Design’. The title was to go to someone who had not only spent a long time in the industry but had made significant contributions during their career. The cruise interiors design community answered: Giacomo Erasmo Mortola.
The award was announced during CSIA’s live virtual event and presented by Mortola’s son, Lorenzo Mortola.