Luxification and Design-Driven Innovation in Superyacht Design

Sean McCartan, Deana McDonagh, Louise Moody

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2011

Bibliographical note

This conference paper was given at the Royal Institution of Naval Architect's Design & Construction of Super & Mega Yachts Genoa, Italy May 5-6 2011. Author's note: - Design-Driven Innovation (DDI) is a radical approach to design innovation management that creates new market sectors by combining technological innovation with radical changes in how a user perceives the design meaning of a product. The Apple i-pod is an example of such a product. This paper presents a superyacht design framework for DDI. It is about the evolution of luxury, designers must continuously evolve luxury as previous luxury design features are reinterpreted for the mass market, devaluing their current luxury value. This means designing experiences for clients not just products. This body of work uses case studies to demonstrate the potential of DDI to industry practitioners.
The DDI approach to luxification is about designing enhanced user experiences beyond their current expectations. This information cannot be elucidated just through dialogue with the client because it is beyond the scope of their current experiences or interest, but is however informed by their persona. The methodology was developed through dialogue with industry and well as secondary research to examine technology and design trends. The framework involves an examination of luxury trends from outside the superyacht industry such as luxury hotels and technology trends. The project has been adapted into RINA accredited IPD/CPD training material.
The challenge posed by this research is the need to identify a scale of DDI to evaluate design proposals. This will require significant dialogue with superyacht design consultancies as well as potential clients of the sector. The work presented is the basis of a conceptual framework for luxification in superyacht design, which is being further developed through an MRes project. It is the first body of work to propose this transfer of design innovation from the product design sector. The author has been invited to submit the work to The RINA Journal of Small Craft by the Editor.

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