Bolidt and Esthec®, highly successful superyacht flooring and decking brands, continue to demonstrate a strong commitment to working with young designers in this specialist sector.
As Jacco van Overbeek, director Maritime Division at Bolidt, points out, “It is vitally important that we engage with up-and-coming talent in the industry. This allows us to get valuable insights on the future direction of superyacht design as seen by the new generation of specialist naval architects and interior designers, so we can respond accordingly. It also gives Bolidt and Esthec® a chance to inspire and encourage emerging designers and make sure they are fully aware of the capabilities of some of our exciting new products for superyacht decks and spaces.”
One of the ways that Bolidt and Esthec® cooperate with young designers is by inviting them to their headquarters in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht for a ‘Bolidream’ experience, among other opportunities. Bolidream is a creative session in the Bolidt laboratory, where young designers can get their hands dirty and experiment with some of the latest products and technology. Van Overbeek says, “Bolidream represents a great opportunity for young designers to experience the unlimited possibilities of our synthetic products. We allow them to immerse themselves in our range of new materials and concepts, giving them the freedom to experiment and create.”
In May, Bolidt and Esthec® hosted all nine finalists from this year’s Boat International Young Designer of the Year Awards, who were invited to the Bolidt factory in the Netherlands for a special brainstorming during the Young Designers Getaway, which included a Bolidream session. The young designers were clearly inspired by exciting new technologies such as Esthec® Sensor Deck, which allows any step made on a yacht to be detected, with positive implications for safety, security and energy efficiency, and Bolideck® Glow, which allows any image or pattern to be integrated into the deck, glowing in the dark; the system simply collects energy from the sun in the day and lights up at night.
The winner of the Best Student section of the Young Designer Awards 2018, Nicolò Piredda, from the Politecnico di Milano, was hugely impressed by the experience. He said, “It was a fantastic opportunity to be shown how to use and create amazing things with these fantastic products. It certainly made me want to work with Bolidt and Esthec® in the future.”
Piredda stressed the importance of new materials and found the Bolidream experience and the tour of the factory something of a revelation. “I was surprised to be honest,” he admitted. “I knew about the company but having seen the factory myself I have a much better understanding of the reality of what Bolidt and Esthec® do here and the products that they have invented, not just for yachting, but other industries as well.” For Piredda, one of the biggest challenges in designing superyachts is staying one step ahead in the market. “Doing the same is normal,” he suggested. “But what is difficult is doing something different that will be appreciated by everybody for years to come. From visiting the Bolidt factory I have got some new ideas about using products and enhancing them to make that difference.”
Another talented young designer, Aristotelis Betsis, a student from the University of Strathclyde, said he greatly enjoyed the Bolidream experience. “I took inspiration from new materials and the scope for integrating them with others. You must not forget that the whole yacht is the final result, and that it has to be beautiful not just in the moment, but for the long term as well,” he said, adding, “The future of superyacht design is about new functionalities and new aesthetics - things that Bolidt and Esthec® excel in. The future will require designers not looking at functionality and aesthetics in isolation but combining them together to create a perfect match.”
Presentations made to new generation yacht designers by Bolidt focus heavily on sustainability and environmental protection. Betsis added, “We were able to see first-hand that Bolideck® and Esthec® systems are very eco-friendly and minimize the environmental footprint. Sustainability is very important today and these products have a significant role to play in delivering environmental objectives for superyacht designers.”
Design challenge sessions have also been held with young designers at the Bolidt factory. Filippo Phelan, from the University of Genoa commented: “It is clear the future includes more automation, but also new materials that will improve sustainability, and intelligent products that will feed back information from the ship. It was inspiring to be given a vision of the future and experience technically integrated products that allow designers to do new things.” Young designers are inevitably enthused when they are given the freedom to create. Wim Verhoelt, a designer with OceanCo, stresses the importance of drawing inspiration from new materials. “The client is generally interested in concepts that add value and exclusivity. Using innovative new materials might be crucial in persuading the owner to buy a new yacht to begin with,” he says. Through discussions with Bolidt and Esthec young designers can also gain a better understanding of different trends in the maritime sector compared with other industries. Stefan Munroe from Rolls Royce started out in yacht design but has now moved to the luxury automotive sector. He points out, “In yacht design there is a move to synthetics as an alternative to ‘real’ products, whereas in automotive there is still a preference for ‘real’ materials.”
Working together, the design teams from Bolidt and Esthec® have achieved a significant market share within the superyacht sector, delivering decking and other materials for a series of high profile and advanced designs. Van Overbeek concludes, “One of the attractions of the Bolidt and Esthec® ranges for the superyacht sector is the freedom they give designers. The mind of the designer can be translated directly onto the deck and this appeals strongly to young designers seeking unique and personal solutions.”
P.O. Box 131
3340 AC Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht
Bolidt Innovation Center
3341 LW The Netherlands
TEL +31 (0)78 684 54 44