Design-Driven Innovation: A High Speed Coastal Cruiser for the Chinese Luxury Market

Sean McCartan, James Roy, Roberto Starkel

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    China is the new market for superyachts, it is a developing country with a recent and exponentially growing interest in the leisure boat market, due to the developing cultural association with boats and luxury. High net worth individuals in China are discovering the excitement of speed and boating, often beginning their experience by purchasing a small motoryacht as a prelude to chartering and the eventual purchase of a superyacht. This discovery of speed and freedom on the water is in stark contrast to the well established European market, which has a considerable heritage of marine leisure culture. The Chinese cultural interpretation of a superyacht in terms of luxury and functionality is fluid, it will eventually become more defined as leisure boating becomes more established as a high status luxury activity. This paper reports on a design project engaging in design-driven innovation through the application of technologically advanced high speed platform combined with the implementation of a culturally specific emotional design framework developed as part of the EBDIG (European Boat Design Innovation Group project . Resulting in a highspeed superyacht coastal cruiser for the Chinese market, which changes the design meaning associated with superyachts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRINA, Royal Institution of Naval Architects - International Conference in Marine Design, Papers
    Place of PublicationLondon
    ISBN (Print)978-190504088-9
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011

    Bibliographical note

    This paper is not yet available on the repository. This conference paper was given at the Royal Institution of Naval Architect's The International Conference on Marine Design, Coventry University, UK September 14-15 2011. Author's note: - This work demonstrates a complete implementation of Design-Driven Innovation. Beginning with design dialogue between the authors, each of whom has a unique design insight into the superyacht industry and the growing Chinese market. These insights were distilled into a design brief, with the design process being informed both by the previous outputs of the luxification framework and the emotional design framework for interior design. The significance of this work was a complete implementation of DDI using interpreters with a refined DDI framework as an output, resulting in a conceptual design. The design project was a collaboration with BMT (British Marine Technology) a specialist in naval architecture, Studio Starkel a superyacht design consultancy. This was therefore an advancement on previous DDI work by engaging professional interpreters in the design discourse, thereby demonstrating to industry the potential of DDI methodologies. The conceptual design and design workflow were integrated into RINA accredited IPD/CPD material for the European marine design industry as part of the EBDIG Leonardo project (
    This design case study demonstrated the potential of DDI to the superyacht design industry. The students were provided with a design research and design workflow framework. The rigour of which was develop through the design discourse from the cultural interpreters, resulting in a design specification which was refined dynamically through regular design dialogue. The challenge in this project is to objectively substantiate the magnitude that the design concept achieves DDI according to Alessi's formula for success. This will require further primary research, which is being carried out as part of an MRes project.
    This body of work integrated the conceptual frameworks for both DDI and emotional design cultural specifivity as well as engaging in real industry cultural interpreter dialogue. This paper demonstrates the refinement and effective use of the frame works developed in other outputs.


    • Boat design
    • Chinese markets
    • Design projects
    • Emotional design
    • European markets
    • Leisure boats
    • Superyachts


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