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Balázs Kétyi

Join us for the Superyacht Design Festival 2021

The Superyacht Design Festival will take place from 1 - 3 December in Milan, Italy.

The work of designers has been forced to evolve more rapidly than usual this past year, giving way to a broader spectrum of radical new shapes, lines, layouts and purpose to superyacht design. To help celebrate this, the Superyacht Design Festival, taking place in Milan, Italy, is set to not only bring together the frontrunners of the industry, but to discuss the world of design with the experts.

So far, the 2021 edition is to be held in collaboration with Event Partners Oceanco, Azimut Benetti and Videoworks. Plus, Viraver is a Supporting Partner.


The Superyacht Design Festival has been successfully informing, connecting and entertaining the superyacht community and beyond for over a decade. This year in vibrant Milan, Tim Heywood, Stefano Boeri and Patricia Viel are just some of the handpicked panel of industry superstars that will gather to discuss the following topics:


After a complicated and challenging year for the yachting industry, BOAT International’s editor-in-chief Stewart Campbell outlines where we are today, along with emerging sectors, growing areas of interest and predictions for the future. 


It’s hard to think of a more fitting keynote speaker in Milan than world-famous architect and urban planner Stefano Boeri. Though he has offices in Shanghai and Tirana, his primary studio, Stefano Boeri Architetti, is based in the city, and one of his best-known pieces of work is Milan's iconic landmark – the imposing Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) between Via Gaetano de Castillia and Via Federico Confalonieri. The first of its kind, this “green skyscraper” dominates the city skyline and comprises over 700 trees and 20,000 sprawling plants, wrapped around a modern housing development. It was a bold experiment that has lead to vertical forests in Lausanne, Utrecht, Eindhoven, Haunggang and Nanjing all in the making, along with several Forest Cities across the globe – and one that is sure to catch the eye of any visitor to the city. A professor at Politecnico di Milano, as well as a professor in several international universities, Boeri also directs the Future City Lab at Tongji University in Shanghai – a post-doctoral research program that explores the future of contemporary metropolis. Along with his urban work, he is no stranger to marine projects, having spearheaded the design for waterfronts in Naples, Trieste, Genoa, La Maddalena, Doha, Marseilles and Thessaloniki, to name but a few. A true master of adaptation, with an incredible aptitude for understanding and interpreting human behaviours, Boeri has more recently worked on counter-terrorism installations, and collaborated with the Italian government on work relating to Covid-19. In this inspirational, radical talk, he will outline how to change your output and creative processes in line with shifts in society, and look at the creative opportunities that have opened up for yacht designers as they navigate a new and very different landscape ahead.  

Stefano Boeri


The world of AI is evolving at a pace, and now it’s the superyacht’s turn to get in on the action. We outline 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. At the vanguard, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project is crossing the Atlantic unmanned. We speak to Eric Aqaronne from IBM Systems Strategy, about the extraordinary tech he helped create for the Mayflower, as well as the potential of Autonomous yachting in general. 


Research has shown that our senses interact with each other and actually affects how we experience pleasure onboard. The colour and odour of shampoo, for example, makes our hair feel softer than it actually is; sipping a cocktail out on deck isn’t half as enjoyable if we can hear noise at certain frequencies. So, what if you could create a superyacht specifically designed to trigger the body's senses? 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, tells us how it’s done.  

Daniel McCullough


French architect Patricia Viel co-founded the world-famous ACPV [Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel] back in 2000, and today the 130-person studio in Milan works on everything from hotels, such as Bvlgari Hotel Shanghai and the Bvlgari Resort in Dubai, and residential projects including the La Bella Vita tower in Taiwan and the Arte building in Surfside, Miami, to yachts such as Custom Line’s new Navetta 30 and the Sanlorenzo 460EXP. Her practice has been pioneers in the use of digital design tools in its methodology using BIM (Building Information Modeling) for all projects, including yachts, and also in leveraging computational and generative design to deliver unique and flexible design solutions with a data-driven approach, which respond to the specific needs and preferences of their clients. In this one-on-one interview, Ms Viel shares her journey into the world of superyachts, her design inspirations, challenges and unique creative processes, and questions, who is the most effective designer: man, or machine? 


Interactive design is one of the latest and most talked about areas of interior design. Where once a Picasso or Kandinsky was enough to impress guests onboard, now interactive forest video walls, where butterflies flutter as you walk past, office spaces that sync to your circadian rhythms, and dance floors that react to your movements are at the top of owners’ wish lists. These creations may be spectacular, but they come with their own unique set of challenges, including structural considerations that need to be considered from the beginning of the boat build. We 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. On the panel, Zaniz Jakubowski, the interior designer of 107.6.m Benetti Luminosity talks through her experience of creating the yacht's ground-breaking Forest Wall and 264 Flowers in Motion artworks and explains how interactive design can be used to enhance wellbeing on board. Leading lighting designer Sally Storey explains some of the practicalities of creating illumination spectacles on board, the teams required to make them a success and how-to future-proof designs in a rapidly developing area of technology. A representative from Videoworks will also join to share their expertise on how the company is using cutting edge technologies to both plan and install these futuristic installations on board.

Luminosity's main staircase with 18m interactive foyer


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 shares with Stewart Campbell how his many creations came to be – and the unprintable stories along the way... 


As a new generation of superyacht buyers is emerging in Asia, the Hong-Kong born Asian luxury consultant, artist and gallerist Peter Ting outlines what Chinese buyers want to be sold and how, fresh from the West Bund Art and Design Fair in Shanghai. Ting has previously counted the likes of HM The Queen, HRH The Prince of Wales, Asprey, Thomas Goode and De Gournay as clients. From 2009-2017, he was a 'Maker Trustee' of the Crafts Council and he is currently Trustee of QEST. He has also held roles as Head of Homeware for Asprey and Creative Director for Legle Porcelain - spearheading its growth in Asia – while his own work can be found at London’s V&A museum, MAD (Museum of Art and Design) in New York, M+ Museum in Hong Kong, and Design Society Shenzhen. His gallery continues to sell to a number of private Asian yacht owners. 


Designers often dream of a fossil-free future and many have set their brains to the task – but can a 100% fossil free boat ever be a viable reality? Industry titans and leading designers debate the challenges ahead and lay out how far we’ve come to date. On the panel, a representative from Sealance, a Milan-based startup and the inventor of a hydrojet. Their goal was to develop the most efficient naval propulsion yet imagined in order to spend less time getting to where you are going and leaving only water behind. Their innovation is what they call the DeepSpeed jet. Laurent Bourguignon will represent EODev, an industrial spinoff of the efforts of Energy Observer, the first catamaran to go around the world powered by hydrogen and totally fossil free. EODev’s goal is to accelerate the transfer of the technologies tested on the boat to other applications around the world.


We take a deep dive into the most popular superyacht design feature of recent years. What are the origins of the trend, what new features are owners demanding from their beach clubs right now and how might this serene space develop in the future? We speak to designers at the vanguard of the trend, including Giorgio Cassetta, Luiz de Basto and Nauta Design

All event proceedings will take place according to the most current Covid-19 regulations.


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