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Superyacht Design Festival 2022: Everything you need to know

Join us for the 2022 Superyacht Design Festival, hosted by BOAT International together with our event and supporting partners. The design festival will take place at The Mall (Piazza Lina Bo Bardi, Piazza Alvar Alto) in the Italian city of Milan from 22-24 June. We also welcome the return of the Design & Innovation Awards 2022, which will commence on the opening night of the festival. 

Learn from the best

Programme highlights

As well as a packed social itinerary, celebratory cocktail, festival social and cultural experiences around Milan, here is a preview of the extended programme of incredible speakers set to attend the three-day festival.

ADAPT AND OVERCOME: Stefano Boeri, world-famous architect and the brain behind Milan’s iconic landmark – the imposing Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) – will talk on the topic of responsive design. He’ll outline how to recognise and react to changes in society, and look at the creative opportunities that have opened up for yacht designers as they navigate the new and very different landscape ahead.

AN AUTONOMOUS FUTURE: The world of AI is evolving at a pace, and now it’s the superyacht’s turn to get in on the action. We investigate the cutting-edge technologies already being put to the test on the fringes of the industry and what needs to happen for their usage to become mainstream.

AN AUDIENCE WITH GIORGETTO GIUGIARO: Crowned Car Designer of the Century, Giugiaro is perhaps best known as the designer of the DMC DeLorean, the car that featured prominently in Hollywood blockbuster Back to the Future, not to mention huge commercial successes including the Fiat Panda and VW Beetle. In this exclusive interview, Mr Giugiaro relays anecdotes and learnings from his varied and impressive career, while revealing for the first time his new trimaran concept.

DESIGNING A SUPERYACHT FOR THE SENSES: Research has shown how our senses interact with each other and affects what we experience while on board. Professor Barry C Smith, founding director of the Centre for the Study of the Senses and professor of philosophy and director of the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, will tell us how it’s done.

100% FOSSIL FUEL FREE - WILL IT EVER HAPPEN? Designers often dream of a fossil fuel-free future, and many have already come up with concepts building on this idea – but can a 100% fossil-fuel free boat ever become a viable reality? Join the debate as innovators in the industry seeking the most immediate solution to reduce yachting’s carbon footprint.

AN INTERVIEW WITH PATRICIA VIEL: In this one-on-one interview, Patricia Viel will share her journey into the world of superyachts, her design inspirations, challenges and unique creative processes, and outline what the new generation of minimalist owners want in terms of luxury.

RESPONSIVE DESIGN: Interactive design is one of the latest and most talked about areas of interior design. We will look at how these installations can enhance life on board, the groundwork that goes into installing them and the most exciting possibilities on the horizon.

A YACHT FOR THE SKIES: As the space tourism industry booms, superyacht designers, brokers and travel companies are focusing their attentions upwards. We introduce the creative craft that span sky, land and sea.

THE EVOLUTION OF THE BEACH CLUB: The shape of superyachts is changing, and a spacious, stylish beach club is a trend that’s here to stay. Designers at the vanguard of innovation, including Giorgio Cassetta, Luiz de Basto and Mario Pedol of Nauta Design, will be asked how this serene space could develop in years to come.

TIM HEYWOOD’S SIX OF THE BEST: One of the original superyacht super-designers, Heywood’s boats have inspired many a young talent to follow in his footsteps. From Plvs Vltra, to Al Mirqab, A+, Here Comes The Sun, Gene Machine and so many more, he will share with Stewart Campbell how his many creations came to be – and the unprintable stories along the way…

A BOAT, IS A BOAT, IS A BOAT...Lazzarini and Pickering have always tried to find a “primary idea” in all of their projects, whether urban masterplans, a hotel, a house or a boat. Carl Pickering will explain the initial client brief, their primary idea and will show the concept design sketches of the project, showing the different ways of being at sea and how they became reality.

HOW TO FIND AN ARTISAN: Every designer dreams of discovering a hidden talent, but where and how are true craftspeople to be found? Deborah Pocock and Alberto Cavalli shall share the routes to discovering exceptional new artists, as well as present a selection of untapped and brilliant makers, whose work is perfect for yachting projects.

ALL WORK AND NO PLAY… The past few years have presented numerous challenges to a yacht designer’s creativity - from remote working and travel restrictions through to the significant distractions of a global pandemic. So, how can you breathe life back into a stressed and demotivated studio? Professor Samantha Parsley has spent over 20 years focusing on what brings joy to the workplace, and why we do the things that we do. She outlines how to make the best of your team throughout these challenging times.

THE ITALIAN WAY. WHAT MAKES ITALIAN DESIGN UNIQUE? Cultural historian, Associate Professor of Italian studies at Villanova University Luca Cottini P.h.D will take a look at Italy’s complex past and visual imagination as a rich soil of creativity and innovation.

A packed social itinerary including an awards celebratory cocktail, festival social and cultural experiences around Milan will also be included. 

Last year's Young Designer winner, Valentin Weigand.

Design & Innovation Awards

As part of the Superyacht Design Festival, the BOAT International Design & Innovation Awards will be held. Now in its 13th year, the Awards continue to be the pinnacle honour within the superyacht design community, bringing the specialist skills of the industry's most talented teams into the spotlight. By celebrating the finest yacht designs launched in 2021, this award acknowledges the naval architecture and design aspects of cutting-edge superyachts that carry innovative engineering and styling amid the changing demands of owners and the increasing presence of new technologies. The winners will be selected by a jury comprising of acclaimed designers and stylists from both inside and outside of the marine industry.

The Young Designer of the Year Award winner will also be announced during the Festival. The award provides recognition within the industry for up-and-coming designers and offers them the opportunity to fast-track their careers with a coveted internship at Dutch shipyard Oceanco.

Hotel deals

These recommended hotels are offering guests of the Superyacht Design Festival special preferential rates for the duration of the event. We encourage guests to stay at one of these hotels for a heightened opportunity to socialise and network with other guests throughout the event. See below for the selected hotels, booking and contact details:

Principe di Savoia  
As part of the famous Dorchester Collection of hotels, Hotel Principe di Savoia offers impeccable service and authentic Italian charm. Inside, guests will find four restaurants and bars and a penthouse gym and spa with one of the most incredible views across Milan. To book this hotel from €460 per night preferential rate, guests should book directly by clicking here.

The Westin Palace
In the Porta Nuova district, The Westin Palace offers 231 guestrooms in classical architecture and pared-back Milanese 21st-century design. An Italian restaurant, lounge bar and 8th-floor rooftop terrace are also available. To book this hotel with preferential rates from €275 per night, click here.

The ME Milan Il Duca
Near to the Fashion District and the nightlife of Porta Garibaldi, this Melia hotel is in a contemporary, cutting-edge design. Between the hotel’s restaurant and rooftop bar, guests are offered one of Milan’s most thrilling food experiences. To book this hotel with the preferential rate available from £290 per night, click here.

The Gallia
Featuring 235 luxurious guest rooms, including 53 suites, each room celebrates all that is innately desirable about the city’s show-stopping design ethic. On top of the hotel is the Terrazza Bar which offers exceptional panoramic views over the Pirelli Tower and Grand Railway Station. To book this hotel with the preferential rate from €350 per night, click here

The Windsor Hotel Milano
Located a short distance from the porta nuova business centre, The Windsor Hotel is styled with an Italian interior with special low-touch and contactless technology. The hotel’s bistro features traditional Italian cuisine and refined gourmet dishes. To book this hotel with the preferential rate offered from €170 per night, visit the hotel website and enter boat as the special code for a 10% discount at checkout.