There are many UHNWIs in the world who could comfortably own a superyacht but choose not to. One could make a list of all the reasons why some potential clients would turn their noses up at the notion of owning a yacht, from contradicting their public persona to a mere disinterest in a life on the water. But so often, I’ve noticed that people can be quick to denigrate a lack of new superyacht business to a dearth of innovation among designers.
Safe to say, I don’t agree with this - there is a huge amount of diversity and creativity within our very small marketplace. However, it would seem that some are under the impression that superyacht design, or more so, superyacht designers themselves are insular beings, and operating with their heads in the sand, oblivious to developments from other industries.
Over the course of some recent interviews that I’ve conducted for both SuperyachtNews and The Superyacht Report, I think there have been some fantastic examples that prove why this is not the case at all, illustrating how designers are increasingly working to break out of the confines of the superyacht industry into a multitude of different industries in order to gain some fresh perspectives.
“We don’t have a lot of yachts up on the walls in the office,” says Kate Hadjidimos, of D-ID Design in the latest instalment of Superyacht Sessions, due to be published in the upcoming edition of The Superyacht Shipyards Report. “We have other things that we find interesting and inspiring [that] are not industry-specific.” While Hadjidimos feels there are some pockets of the industry that do verge on being insular, “people live in a world which is a whole mix of experiences; they don’t live with just one perspective and so you don’t design it in that way.”
I recently hosted a round table with a number of key superyacht designers concerning subject matters for The Superyacht Design Forum (May 12-14) and the message was clear – the market doesn’t want to listen to superyacht designers talk about superyacht design, but instead garner insight from a series of inspiring talks from outside the industry.
Officina Italiana Design, recently revealed that its founders, Mauro Micheli and Sergio Beretta travelled to the US at the end of January with two designers from their team to take a welcome break from ordinary life and equip themselves with new stimulus and ideas, as Beretta explains. “The Hamptons, where there is a lot of wealth, is the perfect setting for Rivas [a longstanding Officina… collaboration]. And then, let’s be frank: the move is also a way of recharging our batteries in this very pleasant climate. Sun and sea really lift our mood and give us great energy.”
Sharing this vision of breaking away and stimulating the mind, was Peder Eidsgaard in The Superyacht Sustainability Report. “In a creative industry, you need to be able to go away and not feel under pressure to create – that is when you design the best boats,” says Eidsgaard. “We are working 24/7, pretty much, and it is my passion. I have no problem with that and I love designing, but sometimes you need to step away. And I am very happy not to go on holiday in the South of France, which is filled with superyachts. I would rather go to Norway, take a break from it all and think about something else. The most important thing in my life is the fact that I can go away with my family. I work so much for the rest of the year and this is the balance.”
Clearly, this concept of stepping back and refreshing one’s perspective on the superyacht industry is a vital aspect for many designers. I think there is an increasing impetus for many to break away from the confines of the superyacht industry, which leads me to think that this industry is anything but insular in its design approach.
This concept also links back to The Superyacht Design Summit, where Behavioural Scientist Patrick Fagan will explore the ‘psychology of designing to personality types’, and will touch upon the meaning of ‘value perception’, rather than focusing purely on superyacht design in isolation.
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