Reality in 3-D
SUPERYACHTS MAY JUST BE THE ULTIMATE ART FORM. BY JASON Y. WOOD
f you think about it, the folks that own these marvels of engineering are in the same rarifed group that scoops up a Picasso here and a Monet there. But there’s a universality to real art, whereas it would seem to be its singular nature that affords the superyacht its value.
Still, when you look at the resulting forms, there can be no denying these yachts are art. But the medium is such that a patron must be in the picture. And the form follows a specifc set of functions. Te reality of the marine environment enters the equation.
We’re curious about the interaction between client and designer, shrouded as it is in the secrecy and confdentiality of a bespoke project looking to break new ground. So how does the relationship between the yacht designer and owner begin? And once it begins, where does the inspiration come from?
Of course, the best people to answer these questions are the designers. At least they’re in the business. Superyacht owners, if you even know their names, would likely answer all questions about a project’s design with, “He did what I asked.”
But the designers have a different take. “Every client is different and actually more often than not they know what they don’t want—not what they want—which is kind of good in a way because it gives you options,” says Espen Øino, a Monaco-based naval architect and engineer who worked on such yachts as Al Said, Octopus, Katara, and Kismet among numerous others. “You’ve got to read between the lines and interpret.” But rather than look at the process as plumbing the mind of the client as a sort of yacht psychologist, the designer can fll in the blanks with his own inspiration.
“Te owner is very much an important element in inspiration, defnitely,” Øino says. “But he’s not the only source of inspiration.” Øino went on to explain that this becomes more apparent when the commission is for a head of state, where it’s more of a
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