Ino Group was established in Rome in 1998 by Alessandro Inno with a view to achieving an effective blend of form and function in every design
by Carla Pagani
Upon entering Alessandro Inno’s studio, you realise immediately that his work consists of a mixture of tradition and innovation. A hand-drawn design sits on one of the desks. It’s dated 1963, the year of his birth. He is emotional when he shows it to us. It was produced by his father, who was in charge of production at the Chris Craft yard in the 1960s.
The new design he is working on is just a few centimetres away, on the brightly lit computer screen. Ancient and modern. Craftsmanship and technology go hand in hand in the work of Ino Group, a Roman boat design studio founded in 1998. It works for major yards both in Italy and around the world, including Azimut, Salpa, Emirates Boats and Raphael Yacht.
Alessandro Inno designs motor and sailing yachts, with just one objective in mind: innovating and looking to the future with creativity and technology. The sky is grey on the Roman coast, but Inno’s welcome is like a ray of sunshine. He gives off a sense of energy and optimism, but above all, practicality.
As soon as we sit down, he explains to us that this is probably because he has been around boat yards for years: «I made wooden boats, then it was the turn of polymers and the first fibreglass boats were created». However, his teachers also had an important part to play: «the lessons I learned from Carlo Galeazzi and Alberto Ascenzi were fundamental for me».
Ino Group has revolutionised design thanks to its winning combination of engineering expertise and architectural culture, without ever overlooking design. «Here in our architecture studio, engineering and design are an indissoluble whole. Lines that generate amazement are not always enough. People lose sight of functionality. We’re designers with an engineering vision».
As well as using highly sophisticated software, they also produce drawings by hand. «I always start with a hand drawing», he tells us, showing us a pile of A4 sheets. A number of sketches on shiny paper are the oldest: «I keep them because even old ideas can be a source of great inspiration». In fact, Alessandro Inno feels like a craftsman to all intents and purposes. His words reveal a somewhat old-fashioned sense of work, consisting of dedication and consistency, but also poetry and a real love for what he does.
Inno inherited his huge wealth of knowledge and experience firstly from his grandfather, a master shipwright, and then from his father. «As a child, my favourite pastime was joining my father at the yard, where I used to play with the wood offcuts». And now? «My son is still very young and I don’t know whether he’ll want to follow in my footsteps when he’s older». In the meantime he has built up a great team of young people who work alongside him with great enthusiasm. «I’ve organised this studio in such a way that there is total integration between the various experts, who work together as a single creative mind. I hope to be able to pass on all my experience to my assistants». The engineers and architects who work for Edopera, the carbon component start-up launched by Ino Group, are also young, or in actual fact very young. «There’s a configurator on site, so that clients can pick customised pieces».
Today, Ino Group primarily works with yards that carry out production boats. «It’s important to keep the entire process under control and keep the production costs low», he explains to us. This is his studio’s real strength: putting forward top-quality projects at contained costs. «Working for a large yard that builds custom mega yachts is a very different matter». Ino Group obviously does this too, but stepping things up a gear: designing in a financially sustainable manner, anticipating everything from the outset, mechanical parts included. Production boats are not child’s play. «By designing everything down to the smallest detail we help the yard build production boats of excellent quality».
This is clearly demonstrated by the experience at Cobrey Yacht. This Polish firm was established in 2004. Its line of boats, designed by the studio run by Alessandro Inno (personally responsible for the 28 and 33), has set a trend. Design work was recently completed on the new Cobrey 50 Fly. «We’re very satisfied. We’re building it now». Italian design, quality materials, safety and luxury, all in a single boat.
(Alessandro Inno: the art of design, between ancient and modern – Barchemagazine.com – August 2018)