Preview: 6 Superyacht Design Symposium topics explained

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The keynote

The theme for this year’s Superyacht Design Symposium is New Extremes, so who better to kick off proceedings than one of the most revolutionary yacht designers on the planet.

As the creative mind behind Motor Yacht A, Venus and Sailing Yacht A, Philippe Starck needs no introduction. He will be in conversation with Boat International editor Stewart Campbell on day one of the symposium, discussing his career so far, his creative process and much more…

Photo: Christoffer Rudquist

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Extreme Markets

The first day of the Superyacht Design Symposium 2018 continues with a discussion on the best way to access non-traditional luxury markets, both from a demographic and geographic perspective. Manuel Bianchi, managing director Europe for business development at Wealth-X will look at trends, characteristics and archetypes among the world’s UHNWIs before Stewart Campbell leads a panel discussion featuring Aino Leena Grapin, CEO of Winch Design, Giovanna Vitelli, vice-president of Azimut-Benetti and Dan Lenard (pictured above), founder of the Nuvolari Lenard design studio.

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Extreme Frontiers

With most of the world’s surface mapped out, where are the new frontiers that UHNWIs want to explore? And how can yachts play a role in this new era of exploration? In this section of the Superyacht Design Symposium, we look at the destinations of the future and how the desire to reach them will shape yacht design.

Stephen Attenborough, commercial director at Virgin Galactic, will reveal the latest advancements in space travel and how designs and materials have evolved along the way. Boat International editor-in-chief Sacha Bonsor will then lead the Extreme Frontiers panel discussion, which features Matthew Robertson, founder of Momentum Adventure, Fraser CEO Raphael Sauleau and Clive Scott, head of tiltrotor and unmanned programs at Leonardo Helicopters.

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Extreme Materials

Designing the interiors of the world’s largest yachts requires accommodating requests for some unusual materials as well as traditional materials in vast quantities. Taking the format of a series of Pecha Kucha sessions, where each participant is given 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide, discussing this topic will be Marcel van der Spek of Estec, Pavel Lasvit of Lasvit, Axel Massmann of Yacht Green, Fehrmann Metallverarbeitung CEO and owner Henning Fehrmann and sustainable materials specialist Lay Koon Tan (pictured above).

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Extreme Builds

On the second day the Superyacht Design Symposium will turn its attention to two of the most spectacular in-build projects in the world, focusing on their briefs, design and innovative features. Stewart Campbell will be in conversation with designer Espen Øino and Severin Ulstein of Vard to talk about the 181.6 metre REV (pictured above), before Tim Soper, co-founder of EYOS Expeditions and Mark Vermeulen, product director at Damen, take the stage to discuss the SeaXplorer range.

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The owners’ panels

The Superyacht Design Symposium wouldn’t be complete without the ever-popular owners’ panel and this year there will be two sessions to look forward to. The Owners’ Fireside Chat will include Christophe Albin, owner of Escapade (pictured above) and Alan Dabbiere, World Superyacht Awards judge and owner of Constance, while the Millennials Panel: Designing for New Destinations will bring together Daisy D’Isernia, Alex Gibbs, Laura Gnotke and Sebastian Vibe-Petersen to discuss the next generation of superyacht owners and what they will demand from their yachts.

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