If Only… we connected more closely with the ocean

HL Studio director Emil Leon imagines a space where we can engage with the environment and witness the wonders of the deep blue

As a child I spent months every summer living in a Spanish coastal village – this was a seaside life where everything revolved around the sea: food, entertainment and livelihood. Not surprisingly, I have a strong pull to the water, as we all do, however the reality is that most of us are far removed from this element and its importance is lost.

Imagine a ship flipped, with living quarters at the base of the hull, and with submerged rooms and panoramic windows from which we can witness the wonders of the deep blue, the beauty of sea-life and also the sadness of pollution.

This floating habitat would nurture the oceans and the localities to which it travels. Excursions would give new cultural experiences – and travellers could engage with the environment alongside the people who know it best – local knowledge would be their trade, and visitors would contribute. I would jump aboard in a heartbeat.

Emil Leon 
Director, HL Studio

Emil Leon

With fellow-director, Patrick Hegarty, Emil Leon established HL Studio in 2010. Recent projects include: research and development for new ‘convenience retail channels’ for Waitrose; retail research for Vodafone; a residential development in Soho; and working as external design consultants for the new Virgin Voyages fleet. Emil has experience of designing challenging bespoke forms for interiors, alternative manufacturing and mass production techniques. He has developed specialisms in 3D modelling, product and furniture design and concept art and has a particular interest in additive and subtractive manufacturing.


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