The potential for surface disruption techniques in the aesthetic evolution of superyachts

Tom Nelson

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Superyachts are some of the largest man-made structures designed outside of the discipline of architecture, but as their sizes have increased over the years, there has been little change in the aesthetic treatment of their surfaces. This scaling-up of design features has often resulted in the creation of amorphous, incoherent and incongruous masses of steel and aluminium. Superyachts spend a large proportion of their existences in-dock, stationary aside from the movement of the water. We can therefore justify analysing them within the context of architecture, where buildings with such vast expanses of unbroken white surface are rarely seen. When such instances do occur, criticism soon follows – the Benthem Crouwel Wing of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam has been dubbed ‘The Bathtub’, and is widely derided. Whilst no such formalised and directed criticism of superyacht design exists as yet, there is clearly an opportunity for a rethink. This paper summarises research and development activities, where in-depth visual analysis of contemporary architecture has informed design output. The body of this paper discusses methodologies for expansive surface disruption in superyacht design. These methodologies (which advocate the progressive adoption of design approaches from the world of contemporary architecture) are beginning to inform marine design projects, the first of which has been analysed within the context of both the superyacht industry and architectural practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventMarine Design 2014 - Coventry, United Kingdom
    Duration: 3 Sept 20144 Sept 2014


    ConferenceMarine Design 2014
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    • marine design
    • superyacht design


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