In his opening remarks on Day One of SuperyachtDESIGN Week 2016 Martin Redmayne, Chairman of The Superyacht Group, promised  “an interesting mixture of characters, conversations and exchanges of ideas,” set against the backdrop of a market that has not, in recent years, always been in the ruddiest of health. The promise, which doubled as a challenge, set the tone for a day that did not disappoint.

Kick starting the guest speakers for the day was Ian Briggs, co-founder of the BAC Mono supercar company. Briggs guided a captivated audience through a design process that went against contemporary automotive wisdom and, for that matter, against contemporary superyachting wisdom.

Supreme attention has been paid to the details of the vehicle that account for weight loss and performance, whilst the usual principles of sound and vibration reduction, or indeed most comfort additions, have been eschewed. While this may not resonate with motoryachts, is there something to be learned from honing in on a specific element of experience, or a couple of experiences, rather than trying to cover all bases?


The central portion of the day was spent chewing over pertinent design issues in intimate workshops, with the onus being on delegate participation and the free flow of ideas. A major theme that arose throughout the day, never more so than in the ‘A Platform for Design’ workshop, was the superyacht industry's aversion to collaboration, where other luxury industries use it to the betterment of all involved.

A striking conclusion that was reached, thanks in large to Elaine Enright and Catherine Turnbull, both of Grès et Delibasi, who nimbly led delegates through the discussion, was that collaboration may be most effective as a means of stimulating the charter and production yacht markets.

There are opportunities for innovators within design to find more room for expression, and indeed self-promotion, where the conservative necessities of private ownership are set aside – not to mention the easing of the ever hampering non-disclosure-agreements that would bring.

The desire of millennial UHNWIs, to experience rather than own, plays nicely into the idea of truly unique charter yachts, created through bolder collaborations that need not cater to the practical middle ground of long-term superyacht usage and ownership.

Day one concluded with a keynote speech entitled ‘The Heritage of Design’. Within the keynote, Francesco Lovo of Pininfarina walked delegates through the delicate process of balancing heritage and evolution – the trials and tribulations of retaining, and building upon, a brand's DNA. The keynote drew to a close with Lovo and Marco Mazzu from Fincantieri showcasing the Ottantacinque concept.

SuperyachtDESIGN Week 2016 is taking place until 30 June at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. To view the the full programme, click here. There is still time to register too.

Gold partners:
Blohm + Voss Shipyards

Silver Partner:
Clyde & Co


Bronze Partners:
DKT Artworks
Melik Aquarium


Profile links

Design Centre Chelsea Harbour