by Matteo Zaccagnino

An obsession with novelty. The role of ideas. Client demands. The market. All factors that have influenced the evolution of yacht design. They define the range of action of any project and the parameters within which ideas can be developed. But that is far from the end of the story. Boats are also, and even more importantly, places where we live and as such must respect certain rules and principles.

Surely that is the end of the story? No, unfortunately not. Further complicating the issue is the fact that the ultimate job of a boat is to move in an environment with which it (and we) need to constantly interact. These considerations all illustrate the incredibly complex but fascinating role played by yacht designers whose job it is to embrace and give form and function to all of the aforementioned factors.

But theory is one thing and practice quite another. You only have to go any marina or roadstead to be faced with a babel of different stylistic languages. Forms that are the result of a need to meet the requirements, formal and otherwise, of this or that client. All different things, but united in affirming the principle of a diversity that has now become a stamp of approval.

The result is that, unlike the past, it has become difficult to even put a name on the style of this particular period in history. So the real challenge now facing anyone embarking on a profession as a yacht designer is how to avoid being seduced by the siren song of an aesthetic with no other end but itself and hold a course that will lead to substance in the form of sustainable, functional design.

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