At this year’s edition of The Superyacht Design Forum, the aim was to encourage attendees to look outside the superyacht industry for inspiration, to challenge industry norms.
Throughout the two days we had the privilege of hearing from many renowned designers about their work across a variety of different sectors, including Beatrice Bonzanigo of IB Studio, who flew in from Milan to discuss her latest concept, Casa Ojalá, a mobile housing solution that aims to create the feeling of home anywhere.
‘Ojalá’ is an ancient Spanish word which summarises the concept of infinite possibility, and also can signify intuition. She describes her concept as, “extensive flexibility contained in a small space that is conceived as an infinite opportunity in the global market.”
The 27sqm circular house was inspired by her travels driving through rural parts of Argentina. Accustomed to designing country houses, chalets and apartments abroad,
Casa Ojalá is a new way of viewing architectural space. During her travels she recalls being astounded by Argentina’s beautiful landscape, “the yellow desert, its rainbow mountains and green fields.”
She loved driving through the countryside but felt restricted by the fact that she had to return to the city for accommodation. This obligation to return to the metropolis to find comfort made her question what we consider to be a home. She reflected on the fact that humans, particularly in western civilisation, have become used to a lot of comfort which she feels has “taken them away from the feeling of utter freedom. Humans crave the comfort of a comfortable bed, warm surrounding and recognisable perfumes.” From this came her idea for a concept that allows humans to experience the world without compromising on the luxuries that they have come to rely on.
Her first consideration was to question the idea of luxury and what it means. This is a question she also brought up during later discussions on the future of superyacht design - as an industry driven by luxury, has the industry prepared for a new generation of owners that, having grown up with technology, may desire disconnecting from the constant connectivity currently available?
Bonzanigo wanted to create something that, “allows us to escape our normal lives and hyper-connectivity, giving us a special freedom and the perception of having something unique that is just ours and precious to ourselves.”
A mechanical system of pulleys, blocks, ropes and lines allow for more than 1,000 possible configurations, inside the 27sqm construction. “Physical activity connects us to what we have around” she commented. “With your hands you can move walls, pull down a hammock or open the roof to look at the stars. In a way it mimics the sensation of being on board a sailing boat.”
One can configure the rooms of Casa Ojalá to suit their needs and mood, thanks to the use of materials from Italian company Wood-Skin which has developed a technology that allows a special cut to be made on different layers of wood making it an extremely malleable textile. The circular structure has two layers of external walls, one made of wood and the other of a textile that can fully roll up. The central circular furniture can be pulled up and down using a push-pull system so that “filtered light, a forced canopy and controlled air are left behind. It is the ultimate novelty in the world of static architecture.”
She presented her concept at ‘Milan Design Week’ this year and hopes to create a prototype in the near future.
As we look towards how our industry can accommodate a new generation of superyacht owners, brought up in a world of hyper-connectivity, her concept could certainly spark new ideas amongst some designers.
If you have enjoyed reading this article, you’ll love our upcoming event, The Superyacht Design Forum, taking place on 12 - 14 May 2020 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.