There's no denying that yacht design has upped its game in recent years. We're designing more intelligently, more complex vessels, all approved by new regulations and restraints. The industry has also become much less insular and welcome to gaining inspiration from neighbouring industries. From the brains behind the Apple stores, Eckersley O'Callaghan working on Venus with Philippe Starck and Feadship to land based architects and designers getting their hands dirty in the yacht world, such as PH Design and Green & Mingarelli, the market is growing and expanding its portfolio.
One such company remaining ahead of the curve is the global team at Arup. During a tour of their London office this week, Josef Hargrave, associate for Arup's global Foresight + Research + Innovation team commented to me "we tend to only take on projects that we know will be a challenge". You won't see standard office buildings or string of flats projects partially designed around the room. Instead, you'll see prints for a new stadium, an insect project with varying types of wood to gauge reactions, or student won projects lining the walls. This is a place to be inspired, nurture newcomers and take the seemingly impossible brief from a client, and turning it into a tangible finished product.
A number of their R&D on technologies behind materials, trends and sustainable development can be applied to just about any industry, including the yacht world. Jan Wurm, who spoke at last year's event commented "for some specialist projects we have been working with glass processors specialised in yacht glazing. With respect to technologies such as bending and chemical strengthening flat glass, this industry has excellent technologies and capabilities to offer".
While they may struggle with various regulatory constraints within the industry, it seems fitting they go after challenges. "We don't go for the standard structural designs; we enjoy looking at something new, from a different angle, in a way people didn't think was possible" Hargrave concludes.
Hargrave will be joined by Martin Pauli, architect and materials consultant based in the Berlin office, at this year's SuperyachtDESIGN Week (23-25 June) on 24 June from 15:00-16:30. Please click here to register and for further information on the event.
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