On 22nd of November, Elon Musk took to the stage to unveil the Tesla design studio’s latest creation – the Cybertruck. In front of what I can imagine was a pretty gob-smacked audience, this great lump of metal was rolled out behind a rather proud looking Musk, who went on to explain the inspirations, capabilities and design of the latest Tesla product.

Like many others, I’m sure, my initial reaction to the Cybertruck wasn’t exactly positive. Safe to say, I don’t like the design and despite Tesla’s use of adjectives, which do actually include the word ‘refined’ it doesn’t possess the design attributes that I think a vehicle should have. But, irrespective of the embarrassing episode with the Cybertruck’s glass windows (see video), Musk is no fool, and this vehicle has been meticulously considered and developed.

 

In spite of my resignations, could it be that Musk is right on the money with the Cybertruck and that this unusual design is an indication of future trends and the new aesthetic norm?

The core principals behind the Cybertruck are performance, durability and sustainability, and it is these three characteristics that should form the basis of superyacht development, as well as a variety of other transportation industries. So, if the Cybertruck really has been designed to uphold these core values, could this be the future of not just automotive design, but also the future of yacht design?

“We need something different, and we need sustainable energy now,” said Musk as he unveiled the Cybertruck. Words which should ring true in all corners of the transportation industry. Musk further expressed how he felt that truck design had stagnated, which presumably explains the vehicles outlandish, even Martian, design. Nevertheless, his ideas around design stagnation have more than a passing resemblance to the superyacht market which arguably suffers from ‘white boat-syndrone’.

Like the cybertruck, the superyacht market has had its fair share of design oddities. S/Y A is perhaps the most obvious example of alternative and futuristic design, the metallic giant is, at once, an architectural and engineering phenomenon and an eye sore. It is a design that I have, quite simply, never been able to get behind.

My point is this. Given that I am averse to the designs of the Cybertruck and S/Y A, perhaps my own judgements are based on a preconceived notion of what a superyacht or a car should look like. In the future I will endeavour to engage with alternative designs on an aesthetic and intellectual level. While I may not like the design of the Cybertruck or A, I do appreciate what Musk and Starck are trying to achieve by reimagining and redesigning products that are seemingly stuck in their ways. Crazy as the Cybertruck may seem, it certainly does have its place and it is good to see people that are daring and shameless enough to challenge established views. Perhaps this is a strategy that we should support more openly in the superyacht industry.


If you have enjoyed reading this article, you’ll love our upcoming event, The Superyacht Design Forum, taking place on 25 - 26 June 2019 at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. The Superyacht Design Forum provides anyone in the superyacht design world with a unique opportunity to explore new thinking and share smarter solutions for the future of superyachts. To find out more or to register, click here.