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2020 Young Designer Winner: 'Sticking To It Paid Off'

15 May 2020

The winner of the BOAT International Young Designer of the Year Award, Valentin Weigand, finally scooped the prize after entering multiple times.

Weigand admitted he “didn’t expect” to win, but finally caught the judges' attention with his 87 metre Plato superyacht concept. It was the third time Weigand entered the competition and "sticking to it paid off", he said.

The 2020 Young Designer Award brief saw entrants tasked with designing a refitted, recently acquired yacht. In their submissions, they were required to give guidance on how the yacht should be modified and include plans for a new internal layout, design style and substantial changes to the exterior.

The 87 metre superyacht concept was inspired by Greek philosopher Plato

Weigand's winning design was inspired by the Greek philosopher Plato. Speaking at the Superyacht Design Festival, Weigand said: “I admired [Plato's] point of view on life that if you see beauty, you can receive it. I tried to incorporate that in the Plato yacht concept to encourage the owner to see the beauty around him”.

“In yachting you have the possibility to be on the water, see all these amazing places. That's what my concept is about - trying to convey that feeling and that way of life.”

Key highlights on board Plato include a wine cave, art gallery, three pools and a spa and fitness centre.

Co-founder of design studio Seymour Diamond and Young Designer Award judge Fiona Diamond complimented the "organic feel" of the concept. She highlighted the winter garden, which serves as a pre-dinner lounge and a "fascinating" sliding main deck aft lounge.

“It’s a very competitive industry," she said. "To have the opportunity where you win a prize, have actual experience within a shipyard and be recognised in a forum like this, is a stepping stone for them in the careers”.

The Young Designer of the Year Award was presented as part of the BOAT International Design and Innovation Awards in Cortina d’Ampezzo last week. As part of the award, Weigand will begin a three-month design internship at superyacht yard Oceanco's Monaco office in September.

Offering advice to other young designers, Weigand said: “Just go for it. If it doesn’t work out then it doesn’t work out and you can try again next year”.

The 2021 BOAT International Young Designer of the Year Award is now open.

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