It seems like there are two extremely prominent agendas in the world of conceptual design: to be cutting edge, and to create something that’s a little bit different from current offerings. But with many designers, it appears that the desire to create the next interesting concept can sometimes supersede the need to be exacting, in the hope that their new design will become the latest talking point for the industry, even if it’s being spoken about for all the wrong reasons.

Concepts are an incredibly important element of superyacht design, used as tools to generate ideas and to inspire the market into thinking about the future. There are numerous designers and shipyards, who do this incredibly well and successfully get the market talking about fresh approaches to design as well as potential technological solutions. Unfortunately, a concept is also an incredibly good PR tool, which means that it is reasonably easy to create something unusual, that will be quickly picked up by the media.

Our industry is small, so it’s very easy to generate some publicity in a very short space of time. However, if a concept is being used as a PR tool – trust me, the market knows about it. It’s very easy to tell when a concept has been generated in a short space of time, with little thought behind it. And unfortunately, because of the size of the industry, a badly executed concept will be spoken about for the wrong reasons.

While the superyacht design sector is fundamentally about the talent and skill of that designer, it’s also very much a name game, and who you know is a very serious consideration. Therefore, if a designer decides to create a stir with a quick futuristic concept, with little thought or purpose behind it, they may be labelled as someone who has little understanding of the market, or have their credibility brought into question. While it is rare for the media to brand a design as bad, industry stakeholders are not shy when it when it comes to saying what they really think about a new design.

As I said before, concepts are a fundamental part of superyacht design, especially for younger designers who are just breaking into the market. But it is so important to ensure that the basic elements - functionality, spacing and style - have been addressed. There is simply no point in creating a concept as a PR stunt. The market knows better…

Introducing the latest concept at the 2017 edition of The Superyacht Forum, The Designers’ Den. Here established, eminent designers will take to the stage and advise younger designers on their concepts, providing their unique viewpoint and advice to the next-generation.

The Designers’ Den will be held on Thursday the 16th November at The Superyacht Forum held in Amsterdam from the 13th – 16th November. To enter and submit your designs, please contact with your concept and specifications.

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