Future of yacht design takes centre stage at Superyacht Design Symposium in Austria
by Risa Merl
The 2014 Superyacht Design Symposium, hosted by Boat International Media, took to the slopes of Austria’s Kitzbühel from 23-25 February hosting a international list yachting and luxury design delegates, yacht owners and superyacht industry professionals.
The sold-out event focused on the future of superyacht design while affording yachting industry attendees with a dose of Alpine air for inspiration. The Symposium featured a selection of informative plenary sessions presented by an esteemed panel of experts including yacht owners and the industry’s most influential figures. Stimulating presentations covered topics such as ‘What Owners Want from Design’, ‘Managing Tonnage with Clever Design’ and ‘Defining Innovation in Design.' The large, open style symposium, expertly led by Chairman Nigel Campbell, prompted lively discussion within the forum.
This year’s Symposium saw the introduction of Technical Sessions that provided small groups the opportunity to discuss more specific topics in a focused workshop. These highly interactive seminars proved popular with delegates who elected to deliberate topics as far reaching as ‘Designing for the Asian Market’ and ‘Designing Helidecks.'
This exclusive platform for sharing knowledge and generating ideas also provided the unparalleled opportunity to network at a selection of sensational social events. The Symposium kicked off with a welcome cocktail at the host venue, the Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt, for all delegates, speakers and sponsors who were invited to discover Swarovski’s Crystal Atelier. Here, guests were presented with a showcase of Swarovski’s creative application of crystal, designed for high-end interiors. Swarovski took the opportunity to unveil their striking new Surface Collection; the dazzling outcome of a creative partnership between Swarovski and British Naval Architect, Martin Francis, which was well received by industry members in attendance.
The highlight of the social programme was the eagerly anticipated ShowBoats Design Awards. The prize giving ceremony and gala evening were held at the exquisite location of Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens, Austria; attended by Symposium delegates along with an esteemed audience including owners, designers and the creative teams behind the finalist yachts. On arrival at Swarovski Crystal Worlds, guests explored a labyrinth of breath-taking crystal chambers before taking their seats for the ceremony in the venues famous ‘Cube’.
The evening’s big winners included Palumbo and the creative team behind the innovative Columbus Sport Hybrid 40m, which picked up three awards for her fresh, elegant interior design, harmonious holistic design and environmental considerations. Furthermore, CRN Shipyards, along with interior designer, Laura Sessa, took the title in the prestigious Interior Design category for Motor Yachts of 60m+.
Lamberto Tacoli, CEO of CRN Shipyards, says, 'I felt really proud and happy for our Shipyard; I can assure you it's a big recognition for all our employees, our subcontractors and all the people of CRN and Ferretti Group... it has been an amazing event, really well organized and with the feeling of something really important for our Industry.'
Day two saw the event capitalize on its new Alpine location with delegates taking to the slopes to compete in the Blohm+Voss Ski Cup. The World Cup Race Course of Gaisberg provided a challenging slalom course to 65 participants, many of whom descended the mountain with elegance and style. Yacht Designer, Lorenzo Argento of Luca Brenta Yacht Design certainly put years of training on Italy’s glamorous slopes to good use taking the champion’s title in the men’s advanced category. Argento, a speaker on the Symposium panel, shared his reflections after the event:'Thank you for the great hospitality, the immaculate organization, the great party and the wonderful ski slopes that allowed me to express myself at my best!'
Participants of the Ski Cup were well supported by the crowd who enjoyed a lively après ski party at finish line. Boat International Media would like to thank our sponsors for helping to make the sixth edition of the Superyacht Design Symposium a great success. Special thanks go to Gold Sponsors Swarovski, Silver Sponsors Hodgdon Yachts and Blohm+Voss and Bronze Sponsors; Clyde & Co, MTN Satellite Communications, Boutsen Design, RINA Group, Fincantieri Yachts, Esthec, JFA Yachts, DKT Artworks, Oceanco, Columbus Yachts and Front Street Shipyard.