Superyacht Design Symposium: Are we ready for a yacht design revolution?

Jonny Horsfield

Founder, H2 Yacht Design

At the recent Superyacht Design Symposium, we asked four top designers whether the industry is reaching a revolutionary moment. And if so, are we doing enough to prepare for it?

Jonny Horsfield, founder of H2 Yacht Design admitted: “There is a lot of convention in our industry that is very difficult to break. To push a new idea through takes a lot of perseverance. It’s not a revolution, it’s an evolution led by the client, with us gently guiding them along.”

Horsfield explained that this can be seen in the types of areas that owners focus their attention on: “Superyacht gyms are now becoming the primary space on board, whereas 20 years ago it might have been the owner’s suite or the dining room.” And looking to the future, he added: “I think all of us are looking forward to flat satellite domes, which will be a breath of fresh air in terms of exterior design at least."

Guillaume Rolland

Interior designer, Studio Liaigre

Guillaume Rolland from Studio Liaigre was the next to give his thoughts, saying: “I prefer to think about evolutions rather than revolutions because the customer is always changing.“

When asked what changes he was seeing in his clients, he added: “They are getting younger and younger, and they have another vision of the world, they travel a lot and have experienced a wide range of cultures.” Focusing on specific features, Rolland revealed: “We’re seeing fewer dining rooms because owners are spending more of their time outdoors.”

Peter Mikic

Interior designer

Turning to the traditional GA and whether it needs an overhaul, interior designer Peter Mikic added: “More and more of our clients are requesting unusual layouts. We have got to give the client something that they were not expecting, otherwise there’s no point in us being there." When asked about particular interior design trends, he revealed: “We have more and more people requesting mid-century antiques from the 1950s.”

Mikic concluded with an insight into his general design philosophy: “I do find that having a general structure and a particular language running throughout the design is important. Another thing is not to use too many materials otherwise you risk compromising the integrity of the design.”

Peder Eidsgaard

Founder, Eidsgaard Design

When asked about the need for a yacht design revolution, Peder Eisdgaard (pictured above, left) argued that the onus lies on the designer to push through new ideas. “As designers we have a responsibility to push the envelope. I think it’s good when we push it, we don’t want to satisfy everyone. We are in an entertainment business, so we have to make the design process enjoyable for the client, but we also can’t be afraid to have an argument with a client.”

Looking ahead to upcoming trends, he added: "Of the four yachts we have in production now, all of them have split decks, which have great benefits in terms of views.”

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