Milanese architect studio Palomba Serafini, known for their designs in home collections and lighting, recently ventured into yacht design. The husband-and-wife duo, Roberto Palomba and Ludovica Serafini, collaborated with Italian shipyard Permare to create the Amer Yacht F100 Glass Cabin. Surprisingly, their first yacht design won them the World Yacht Trophies 2023 Semi-Custom award at the Cannes Yachting Festival. The yacht features reflective black surfaces, teak detailing, plush white carpets, and B&B furnishings, creating a sophisticated and comfortable environment. This collaboration reflects a growing trend of integrating design and furnishings into the yachting industry.
The combination of furnishings and boating is becoming more prevalent, as yachts are being built like personalized homes by architects and designers. The use of innovative materials that protect against atmospheric agents and marine environments is also on the rise. Designers like Gio Ponti and Renzo Piano have previously made their mark in the nautical world, and more recently, luxury yacht-makers have enlisted designers like Patricia Urquiola and RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) to create unique yacht models. The financial incentive for the design industry is significant, as Italy’s nautical sector saw a 20% increase in revenues in 2022.
Italy’s shipbuilding prowess has a long history, and the country’s shipbuilders are currently a key driver for the economy. Italian shipyards account for 50% of all world orders of super yachts, and the yachting sector employs over 28,000 people in Italy. The industry’s contribution to Italy’s GDP has been steadily increasing, reaching 3.23% in 2022. Salone del Mobile president Maria Porro, who was appointed chair of the Genoa Boat Show Design Innovation Award, sees endless synergies between the design and yachting sectors, particularly in terms of sustainability. Collaborations between design firms and shipyards can lead to more sustainable and resilient solutions for the industry.