Petra Ryberg, Head of Design at P&O Australia

Petra Ryberg’s incredible track record in designing for hospitality spaces, and her current role as Head of Design at P&O Australia has equipped her with the skill to identify exceptional design. From holistic design to sustainability – and even her predictions for the future of cruise design – Petra gives us an insight into her fresh take on interior design.

Thank you so much for talking to us today. The Cruise Ship Interiors Awards has been created to provide a platform to recognise excellence in design – what makes a great design stand out for you? And with that in mind, what will you be looking for in the submissions to the categories?

A great design to me is when you manage to combine the functionality with the look and feel of the end product. It doesn’t really matter how beautiful a room is if it is not functional. From a design perspective, the unique and original ideas are always the ones that pop out and most of the times they feel so “obvious” and the most simple solutions becomes revolutionary. Scale, colours, space planning, light setting, furniture design – everything in there adds to the final design and functionality – that is what I will be looking for. For me design is a holistic practice and it is when all the places fall to place, a space works, according to me. 

What is inspiring to you, in terms of design, at the moment?

I am and have always been very inspired by nature, I am lucky to travel extensively and see many different kinds of natural elements around the world. Otherwise I feel like the trends are quite warm and inviting at the moment which I very much welcome. 

Interest in sustainability has been on the rise and is predicted to be a big consumer driver in 2020. How do you take sustainability into consideration when designing?

I do believe limitations drives creativity, look at what we do when designing a ship – everything needs to be compliant to the Marine standards and that is forcing us to come up with new creative solutions. I feel the same for the sustainability – we need to start with educating ourselves on what is a better product choice in order to know what limitations we have to work with. I just recently visited a farm and wool mill in New Zealand to go through the production of wool, which is one of the most sustainable materials we have. I also believe, we as specifiers, need to put pressure on our suppliers and ask more sustainable products in order to grow that market.

And on that note, do you have any predictions for the future of cruise and cruise design?

I definitely think there is a big trend to personalise spaces, anything that can make a space work for your unique needs during the day. That can be a multi use space, light settings in the cabins, different kind of interiors to choose from internally and externally. In general it feels like the ship designs, as per land based designs, are moving away from the traditional “grand” designs and moving towards a warmer and residential feel.

Interested in submitting for an award? Click here to pick a category and submit your work.