‘Design Doesn’t Exist’, was the rather provocative title of the SuperyachtDESIGN Week Day 3 opening keynote in which Guillaume Rolland, of Liaigre Yacht Design, led delegates through his stripped back design process, a process that puts necessity and human experience at its core. Design unhampered by design preconceptions.

“We reproduce the same superyachts without considering need,” started Rolland. “Do you need a big dining room table when 90 per cent of your meals are eaten outside?” The defining principles of yacht design, at least for Rolland, are need, solidity and beauty, “but 90 per cent of work is done within the first two,” he added. “Design is a story built around the body.”

Guillaume Rolland, Liaigre Yacht Design

The real goal of design, he explained, is to make your life better. Small adjustments to spaces can make the whole world of difference, a good designer should act like a chiropractor of space. Rolland believes that too many superyachts use squares and rectangles in the makeup of their interior spaces. these designs fail to account for the natural shape of the vessel and the way people movement.

In the ‘The Future Owners’ session, Patrick Coote of Blohm + Voss and Marnix Hoekstra of Vripack set the scene by creating an owner profile and asking the audience, of mainly designers, to compile a yacht with next generation technology using the client requirements put forward. The interactive session focused on the latest tech, systems, spaces and tenders & toys.

The audience embraced the use of natural materials, with an emphasis on open spaces for the true ‘at sea’ feeling and home automation systems. What was concluded from the session was that simplicity is the key to a successful design – and that technology-heavy designs require further technology to actually hide the systems. 

Guests of the event left feeling invigorated and inspired following three days of compelling, forward thinking debate with some of the industry’s most knowledgeable individuals.