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A yacht? A villa on the sea

Design

What are the new trends in interior design for the yachting world? This was the main subject of the conference “the quality of life on board” held at the International Fair for technology and supplies for the ship and pleasure boat building industry drawing to a close on Saturday 3 February at CarraraFiere. An exceptional group of speakers discussed how the new lifestyle trends are influencing the way yachts are furnished, more and more like villas. The first year of the award “Abitare la Barca” (Living on board) for University students.

The importance of investing in new designs and above all new designers is essential for the development of the industry. During the conference “The quality of life on board” the winners of the first year’s “Abitare la Barca” competition organized by CarraraFiere were announced. This year the competition theme was “the division and furnishing of living spaces on board” and prizes were awarded for two categories of boats: 50-ft sailing and 50-ft motor boats.

The designs were drawn by students from the faculties of Industrial Design, Naval Engineering and Architecture actually during the first few days of the fair and were judged by authoritative university professors according to the criteria of creativity and innovation as well as design feasibility.

In the “50-ft sailing boat” category the prize was awarded ex-aequo to Federica Ferro from Genoa University and Marco Scuderi from Pescara Atheneum. A special mention went to Andrea della Vecchia from Roma 3.

In the “50-ft open motor boat” category the winner was Marino Alfani from Milan Polytechnic (part of Bergamo University) and a special mention went to Paolo Straziuso again from Milan Polytechnic.

The competition “Abitare la barca” was conceived with the aim of giving young designers a unique opportunity to look at the nautical design world and explore new lifestyles on board using their creative flair without the usual real world work constraints.

The conference “The quality of life on board” was held on the second day of Seatec 2007. It was introduced by Decio Carugati, writer, journalist and design critic, who inspired by Roland Barthes, 20th century French writer and semiologist, began with the concept: “…A boat, Roland Barthes comments, is first a house then a method of transport … this is why the design of furnishings of excellent technical and aesthetic quality is an added value to life on board, since today’s pleasure boats tend more and more to avoid regular, rational living spaces and prefer – to enjoy a smooth, rounded universe, a superlative house - …”

Vittorio Garroni Carbonara, Professor of Industrial Design at Genoa University and head of the Industrial Design degree course agrees that the interior design of yachts has changed because “ … boat users can be divided into boat lovers and normal pleasure boat people. In terms of the atmosphere on board, the first tend to prefer traditional nautical furnishings while the latter expect to find their current or desired lifestyle on land on board too.”

The fact that design pieces are being used more and more in boats was confirmed by Paolo Pininfarina from Pininfarina Extra too. He emphasised this trend “above all on large yachts and less on the medium-sized boats”.

The conference “the quality of life on board” looked at the close relationship between design companies and the nautical world. Taking part in the conference was Eugenio Perazza, founder of Magis Design, a leading Italian company in the production of interior design, who emphasised the importance of investing in aesthetic and functional research to create avant-garde and above all competitive products.

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