Petu Kummala, Carnival Cruise Line headshot
Petu Kummala, Cruise Ship Interiors Awards judge

In anticipation of our inaugural Cruise Ship Interiors Awards we’ve talked to one of our judges, Petu Kummala, Senior Director of Interior Design & Architecture at Carnival Cruise Line, to get his unique perspective on what makes design great, how he approaches his projects and what inspires him at the moment. And, because we know it’s the question on your lips, we’ve asked him what he’ll be looking for in his role as judge for the Cruise Ship Interiors Awards. Read on to learn more…

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?

It can be one thing or multiple things; Good arrangement/layout, beautiful design or details, clever use of the materials or unique colors or architectural details. Best is if there is more than one element that stands out. For example if the space is beautiful while at the same time has a good functional plan/layout.

With the ease of looking at ideas from all sorts of social media and other outlets, it is easy to fall into the trap of not creating new so when you see something that you haven’t seen before and it is beautiful and creative, it’s great.

With that in mind, what will you be looking for in the submissions to the categories?

Something, as already mentioned, that stands out in some way. Surely something that has an item that is new and/or unique in some way. Not just a “pretty” design.

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

The overall appreciation of design itself is something that is inspiring. Gone are the days when it was all about square footage or plain force given by developers. Square footage and economics still matter, they always will but there is a lot of emphasis towards design which is great.

The projects you work on can be extremely large in scale, such as Carnival’s upcoming Mardi Gras. When you’re working on a project of such scope, what do you use as a starting point? Is it always the same?

It is not always the same but the “laws” don’t change. You need to look at operational requirements, guest count and so forth but when you have large scale project, there will be more venues to be addressed and features that can be possibly had so from that point, the starting point(s) can be, and often are, different.

Can you give us any predictions for the future of cruise and cruise design?

No! OK, the future looks bright for cruise and cruise design so I’m sure we will see even more boundaries being expanded!

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