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Meet the finalists of the 2023 Young Designer of the Year Award

14 December 2022• Written by Brooke Murphy

BOAT International is proud to reveal the finalists of the 2023 Young Designer of the Year Award, in partnership with Oceanco.

The award calls on the talent and vision of student and trainee designers from around the globe and proffers a challenging brief that tests each entrant's technical ability and aptitude for delivery. This year, entrants were asked to imagine themselves as members of a small design studio, which has recently completed a design for the renowned Dutch shipyard Oceanco. The brief detailed a cutting-edge, environmentally friendly, motor-sailing yacht with the young designers tasked with completing the exteriors. The client is a high-profile clothing designer with a worldwide chain of retail stores - and has some wild ideas for his next build.

After receiving and assessing the entries, the Young Designer of the Year Award judges have shortlisted the top six designs…

Alessandro Fulle

Nationality: Italian
Education: University of Genoa

The designer’s vision: Multi-functional design is at the heart of this project, which has been tailored to offer the perfect balance of quiet, private spaces and large entertainment areas. To achieve this, the yacht is divided into two: the bow area is intended for the owner and guests, while the stern area can be used for social functions or fashion events. “The layout is very in tune to both the functions, and I was able to slightly reduce the internal spaces dedicated to guests, compared to a classic layout for a yacht of this size range,” explains Fulle. 

Highlights: The design features a multi-level beach club with a transformable swim platform that can double as a tender dock. On the main deck, a glass atrium can be used as a showroom or atelier and is surrounded by a spiral staircase that allows guests to look inside the structure and outside over the sea. The atrium is crowned by a glass dome that is covered in solar panels which, due to their shape, can receive light at any angle. An uncluttered sun deck offers plenty of space for relaxing, while the guest cabins, located on the lower deck, have direct access to the spa area.

Benedek Kállai

Nationality: Hungarian
Education: Budapest University of Technology and Economics

The designer’s vision: The main goal of this concept has been to forge usability and practicality with style. “The result is a liveable, comfortable, and elegant yacht,” says Kállai. Ecological considerations have underpinned all elements of the yacht’s design, and this was realised in large solar panels and Darrius rotor-type wind turbines. These features have been designed with an innovative bearing system, meaning they have manoeuvring abilities and encourage a flexible deck layout. When folded down, the solar panels are positioned to provide sustainable energy while sailing or at anchor. Meanwhile, support cables ensure stability in any conditions.

Highlights: The arrangement of this yacht has been tailored for hosting fashion events, with a dressing room on the main deck where models can prepare comfortably. An elevator provides easy access to all areas of the yacht and micro-environments have been created across the multideck design, with each encouraging a distinct mood. The sun deck is also able to host a post-show buffet reception with a bar, some casual seating and free space for guests to make use of.

Carlos Ruiz Del Olmo

Nationality: Spanish
Education: Politecnico di Milano

The designer’s vision: Dione is an 88 metre superyacht project named after the mother of Aphrodite in Greek Mythology. The exterior has been designed to make a visual impact with "a clean and smooth shape that manages to offer a timeless style that accompanies the values of the client's fashion brand." He continues: "From the outset, the idea was to maintain an open view of the exterior for which a parametric design was introduced in the pillars to achieve openness and luminosity on the main deck."

Highlights: Solar panels have been installed for energy supply and minimise reliance on generators, while electrochromic glass meets the client's desires for both environmental sustainability and privacy respectively. The sun deck is set up to host runway shows, while an expansive formal dining and lounging area to entertain guests is located on the main deck with a tiered open-air beach club configuration. Meanwhile, the master suite is located on the upper deck and includes a private balcony, double ensuites with full-sized tubs, a walk-in wardrobe and office space with ample library storage. 

Louis-Charles Possover

Nationality: German
Education: Politecnico Di Milano

The designer’s vision: "Elegant sweeping lines flow together in this confident silhouette - reminiscent of the quintessentially French Citroen DS - and are married with inspiration from the late Issey Miyake’s innovation-driven approach. A circular sofa hugs the mast on the main deck and is paired with peachy soft cushions and bedding, creating the feeling of a sheltered, nested safe space - ideal for the grounding of a creative mind."

Highlights: The owner's cabin is vast and can be set up in a number of configurations offering total flexibility. The adoption of retractable catwalks and easily movable furniture allow the owner to transform their comfortable retreat into an energetic and social art and design event space. The main entertaining area, however, is located on the sun deck and features cabaret-style seating as well as a long table for different dining occasions. A lift services all levels while wrap-around decks reach a grand staircase leading from the upper deck to the main deck. The hull has been finished in a striking high-gloss copper chrome.

Samyak Khobragade

Nationality: Indian  
Education: IDC School of Design

The designer’s vision: "Uncluttered and sophisticated products designed by Dieter Rams served as inspiration for this concept. The sloping sheer line showers the interior with natural light - ideal when creating - while full-length glazing enhances the environment professionals will find themselves working alongside when on board. Natural fabrics of linen, cotton and silk in neutral tones have been used with teak wood for furniture. White marble features in washrooms and polished stainless steel has been used for frames."

Highlights: The guest journey begins in an open beach club with a swimming platform that can host three tenders side-to at any one time. Cut into the deck is a recessed 1.2 metre-deep swimming pool with its floor on a rise-and-fall mechanism so the space can be used to host an event as needed; folding bulwarks create an even larger space. The main deck above has a pond with lotus plants and creates a spectacular waterfall from one deck to the other. Entertainment spaces are circular to promote interaction between guests and a wheelchair-accessible day head has been positioned on the main deck to cater to different abilities. A studio on the upper deck consists of a dressmaking atelier, meeting area and lounge for guests, while the sun deck has been designed to conduct fashion shows with the help of a retractable fashion ramp. When not in use, the space can transform into a relaxation area or an open-air theatre.

Vincenza Cristiana Cassese

Nationality: Italian   
Education: Politecnico di Milano

The designer’s vision: "This double-mast hybrid yacht with Dynarig system has been designed for a self-made woman involved in the fashion industry. Able to host up to 40 people during events, the yacht is an expression of what fashion has always been: a means of communication that has the power to inspire people. Architectural lines are sensual but also sharp and dynamic, becoming a definition of peace, purity and romanticism for day-to-day life. The nature of the yacht also appreciates the innovation and progress of humanity - and the design reflects this sentiment in its environmental features. The interiors are harmonious and modern with neutral tones and warm wood and most features on board can be controlled with a centralised system."

Highlights: An open-plan sundeck staged for runway events doubles as an outdoor cinema and features a C SEED unfolding micro LED TV. Guests staying a little longer will have a choice between two sun lounges, the first of which is found split across several decks between the main deck and the swim platform with large awnings offering protection from the sun. The second is a more private setting on the foredeck with a swimming pool that wraps around the forward mast. State-of-the-art diesel-electric hybrid propulsion motors are designed to be powered by wind towers placed on the two masts and solar panels are integrated on the deckhouse and on the side of the vessel - some are composed of parametric patterns, a reminder that renewable energy need not be unsightly. 

The winner of the Young Designer of the Year Award will be announced during the Design & Innovation Awards at the Superyacht Design Festival in February 2023. Tickets and more information available here.