Superyacht Design Festival 2020 Roundup

The YPI team at the Superyacht Design Festival 2020

Superyacht Design Festival 2020 Roundup

In February the crème de la crème of the superyacht industry descended on the snowy slopes of Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, for the BOAT International Superyacht Design Festival 2020, in association with YPI and RIVA.

Kai-Uwe Bergmann launched the festival with an exceptional keynote on how humans are the greatest force in shaping the planet for today and in the future. As Partner at BIG Architectects, Kai-Uwe had the crowd hanging onto his every word as he showcased ingenious designs that use architecture and design to solve some of the biggest challenges facing society today. From the ‘clam house’ that protects itself during hurricane season to The Big U, designed to futureproof lower Manhattan from rising sea levels, each idea playfully combined the pragmatic with utopia to leave you wanting more.

Anil Thadani gave all our bucket lists extra motivation when he documented his family’s epic adventure onboard the explorer yacht LATITUDE. Having sailed through the North West Passage in both directions and circumnavigated the Svalbard and Indonesian archipelago, Anil recounted the story with humour and the near misses, which did nothing to dampen everyone’s resolve that they too, need to go to the Arctic…or try and join one of his family trips.

Design highlights included Matthew Cruickshank, art director at Google and the man behind the famous doodle animations. Sharing his personal methods for capturing movement and animation in static designs, Matthew showed us how to find inspiration in the everyday and the principles behind his success. John Paul Gregory, Head of Exterior Design at Bentley Motors capped off day two by showcasing the EXP 100 GT Concept, unveiled 100 years to the day after the Bentley brand was founded with a new approach for the future of Extradordinary Journeys. Combining sustainability, craftsmanship and technology it was love at first sight for the audience and a masterclass in the future of ergonomic design.

While the stormy winds may have prevented the annual Ski cup from going ahead, the Mountain Lodge Party was a great success. Congratulations to all the winners of the BOAT International Design & Innovation Awards, with YPI handing out awards to:

• Best Motor Yachts Interior Design below 500GT: CALYPSO

• Best Naval Architecture Displacement Motor Yachts: NAJIBA

• Innovation of the Year: 4-ply Complex curve structural glass on board SYZYGY 818

Special congratulations to Martin Francis who accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award with a standing ovation, and left everyone with a tear in their eye.

The YPI team had a fantastically productive few days, with our branded jackets becoming the unexpected fashion collectors item. If you didn’t have a chance to speak to the team but would like to discuss collaborating together, please do contact us at

Thank you to our partners BOAT International for a brilliant event and for bringing our already tight-knit industry even more closely together. We look forward to seeing old and new friends at the next event.