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Superyacht Design Week 2015




Super yacht design week day 1

Day one of Superyacht Design Week was all about smart engineering. The development in technology and devices we use are constantly changing the way we design and create our products – from superyacht and furniture to our own bedlinen, advanced technology such as CAD and 3D printing are making the way we work more efficient and detailed than ever.

But how much do we really know about this technology?

We headed over to our first workshop of the day held in the beautiful showroom of Altfield to listen to Tim Gosling from Gosling Marine and get more of insight into the 3D printing technology and how they are using it within their company.

The talk was fascinating and inspiring, learning how the technology has developed over the years and how quickly it is changing but also what you can actually achieve by using it. CAD is very popular within the industry, it allows you to create the product and show the client how it will look when finished, it is a perfect way for them and the designer to visualise how it will look and make the changes that are needed.

Next he showed us a prototype of chairs they had created via 3D printing. The mini model allows you to see exactly how the chair will look once it has been made. This allows changes once again to be made before the final product has been made.

Here at Heirlooms we work in a similar way. For all our clients, especially overseas, we often send CAD drawings and samples of their pillowcases for them to confirm their fabric, the design and the colour.

After lunch we headed to the Stark Carpets showroom. Greeted by mini bottles of water and chocolates we settled in for the next discussion – crew focus on design.

The talk was held by Agis Variani a chief stewardess with a wonderful insight into what designers and boat yards should be considering when designing a boat and the elements thats are involved.

From simple ideas like space in the laundry room for folded items to having a sink in the galley, to the more detailed areas like storage space for additional items and fabric content and washing instructions for all items not just bedlinen, the discussion was insightful, interesting and very useful for everyone there!

Day 2 of Superyacht Design Week the focus was on Living Architecture. 

In taking a holistic approach to design we can create some incredible concepts and using smart engineering turn them into a reality.

The opening key session from Laurence Kemball-Cook of Pavegen Systems opened our eyes to the possibility of creating energy just through every day activities like walking. The energy saving efficiencies this could create for our future generations are incredible and gave inspiration to how we must design in the future. Using off-grid technology, Pavegen have been able to raise funding through crowd cube. In the words of Professor Stephen Hawkin. This technology has the potential to radically change the way we source power in the future”.

After a quick coffee we headed off to the Interactive workshops. We were certainly spoilt for choice.

One of the team headed off to the On the Road To Collaboration” talk hosted by Tai Ping with 3 of the most respected designers in our industry (Greg Marshall, Vripack and H2Yacht) along with McMullen & Wing – the builders of the renowned Superyacht, Big Fish.

An interesting session in how McMullen & Wing were able to gain the cooperation of 3 designers to participate together in a road show, taking their designs to the brokers. So rather than brokers just selling what they already knew, it gave the designers the opportunity to present designs that would cater for the different tastes of todays, and indeed the future, superyacht buyers.

A great session understanding how each designer interpreted the brief with 3 superb designs. Thanks to Michael Eaglen for staying up until the early hours of the morning in New Zealand to chat with us.

Our other venue for the morning was the creative mind of Michael Leach design with Michael himself in the hot seat, giving an insight to the man behind the studio. A chance like this is not to be missed. The session was very interesting and we left feeling inspired and lucky to have had a chance to listen to such an amazing, well respected, designer speak about their inspirations and work.

Thanks to Alton-Brook & Peter Short for a delicious networking lunch and being a superb host including the death by chocolate’ dessert.. yum.

The Designers Draw off’ was an exciting addition to the lunchtime menu with 3 designers, Rob Doyle, Steve Gresham and Greg Marshall, demonstrating their design skills creating drawings that were donated to Sail4Cancer for auction.

Focusing on smart engineering, Steve Gresham produced a superyacht with a helipad/garage and added the ultimate superyacht toy of a submarine that featured large glass panels to bring nature indoors.

Greg Marshall opted for Planetary Protection creating a boat without an engine room and using the space for additional accommodation. Rob Doyle focused on classic design combined with contemporary techniques such as photosensitive material that covered an exoskeleton and allowed energy though but keeping you shaded.

All superb designs. one wonders what Johannes Torpe would have created had he been let loose with a pencil..

Which brings us to the closing presentation on day two. To use the words of another famously creative Danish brand – ‘Absolutely Awesome’ …. You had to be there… Johannes Torpe, founder of his own Danish design studio and the first creative director of Bang & Olufsen provided an entertaining, insightful, energetic and fun discussion on what makes good design. Take a holistic approach, break boundaries and create magic. How people interact with a brand is the key, adding a sprinkle of now thats magic gives it the wow factor

Johanness inspirational discussion, and input from all the wonderful speakers who gave up their precious time over the 3 days, demonstrated why Superyacht Design week is such an exciting, thought provoking event… and arent we lucky to work in such an inspiring industry

Finally Day 3 focused on Planetary Protection which saw more inspirational talks. The day started with Arturo Vittori, Co-Founder and Director of Architecture & Vision, Vittori inspired the audience, talking about using design for a sustainable future. He drew on inspirations from nature. He went into detail about his past, present and future projects and how to push the boundaries of design. We were captivated by his talk and well worth attending.

Following on from coffee we found ourselves attending a number of the interactive workshops. These included a think tank on Colour trends, a design debate on the ever expanding refit business and a Q&A with Jonathan Rhodes of Rhodes Young. This was of great interest to all at Heirlooms as Jonathan discussed his many projects.

As always lunch was very welcome and gave all of us time to go over our notes and discuss the mornings seminars.

The afternoon saw a number of interactive sessions including a wonderful session hosted by Vripack. This gave all the opportunity to look at the future, with everyone getting involved by adding their own comments and ideas to the trend wall which is a permanent installation at the back of The Pavilion.

After a final drink hosted by Crestron we all said our farewells and looked forward to seeing everyone at this summers boat shows.


As ever, Superyacht Design week has been at the forefront in bringing the leading edge technologies and constantly making us question and challenge the way in which we create to make for not only a more customer driven, inspiring product but also with a focus on how we preserve this beautiful planet we are fortunate enough to inhabit.


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