How do we inspire the next generation to look at designs within the superyacht industry and say ‘Wow! That’s really cool’ rather than ‘Wow! That looks really expensive’? We are at the precipice; potential owners are falling in age, and we find ourselves struggling to encourage the next generation of superyacht owners to build and buy superyachts, rather than chartering them. But what can we do about it?
During The Superyacht Design Forum (TSDF) 2019, which took place on 25th and 26th June, our aim was to inspire, as we looked beyond the confines of the superyacht industry to complementing industries in order to catalyse progress and define what we can really do to improve our position.
We know that the future is coming, but in actual fact, it is already here, which is what our first speaker, Arthur Mamou-Mani illustrated to TSDF delegates with an enormously inspiring and dynamic discussion.
Our aim was to inspire, as we looked beyond the confines of the superyacht industry to complementing industries in order to catalyse progress and define what we can really do to improve our position.
Mamou-Mani is an award-winning architect, CEO, lecturer, Ted Talker and visionary through not just his pioneering approach to algorithmic and computational design, but also to the entire concept of collaboration and what design can do. Among many other projects, Mamou-Mani took it upon himself, his team and students to create Galaxia, a ‘temple’ at the Burning Man festival in America, which is a place of mourning and healing for those who visit the construction and one of the epicentres of the occasion.
“I spend my Thursdays at the University of Westminster, where I try and evolve the design process,” says Mamou-Mani. “You learn more when you are involved, rather than being taught so I decided that we would take a project to Burning Man.” In 2018, Mamou-Mani embarked the on the monumental task of creating Galaxia, which singled out the core values of the festival, which is about community, collaboration and something that is far beyond the concept of money.
Galaxia itself is a poignant monument, a place of silence and mourning among a festival of expression and art, and took an incredible string of giving to make possible. “I sent an email to Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google to see if he would help us raise the funds,” recalls Mamou-Mani. “He came back to me and wanted to take care of the funding as a homage to the founder of Burning Man, Larry Harvey.
“Sergey came to see us while we were building it, and he picked up a drill and got involved. It was such a beautiful thing, and very powerful,” Mamou-Mani continues. “This is gifting, it’s beyond money, this is the idea that you share the experience and that is a very new way of thinking, which speaks to people. It is a sense of community, and pooling together to have one goal.”
"This is gifting, it’s beyond money, this is the idea that you share the experience and that is a very new way of thinking, which speaks to people. It is a sense of community, and pooling together to have one goal.”
- Arthur Mamou-Mani
This is where the superyacht industry can learn a valuable lesson. Unfortunately, when it comes to the construction of a project, there can be a tendency to point fingers and place blame, rather than coming together and solving a problem through collaboration and understanding.
In order to create all of the beautiful things that he has done, Mamou-Mani has relied heavily upon a collaborative approach, sharing information, data and facilities for something that is far greater than personal gain, and he is extremely happy to do so.
“Galaxia was way beyond one person,” says Mamou-Mani. “It was no longer our project, it belonged to everyone.”
While in the superyacht industry, there are of very different objectives and processes that need to take place in order to execute a successful project. The idea of collaboration is still a very relevant one, and one that can be implemented to improve, not just the process of construction, but the industry as a whole.
As an industry we have an important role to play when it comes to encouraging the next generation of UHNWIs to invest in a superyacht. But, we have to find new ways to inspire, and showcase to potential owners that what the industry is doing is incredible
This opening session was one that unquestionably resonated with those in the room, and set the tone for the duration of the two days of TSDF. As an industry we have an important role to play when it comes to encouraging the next generation of UHNWIs to invest in a superyacht. But, we have to find new ways to inspire, and showcase to potential owners that what the industry is doing is incredible, rather than leaving superyachts to be associated with expense and headaches.
We have the capacity, the technology and the power to inspire the next generation to think differently about superyachts, and it’s up to all of us, collectively to ensure that that happens.
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