Notes From The Editor

Editor’s Note: Inspiration, Information and Influence

Mother Nature is a never ending supply of inspiration for many creatives. From the parks and small gardens within concrete jungles to the rolling countryside and forests beyond city walls, nature is always influencing our surroundings.

It’s a rich source of inspiration, information and influence, offering fascinating secrets into complex shapes and structures. It is therefore not surprising to see so many yacht designers swayed by animals, insects, plant life and the effects of weathering during the design process.

In the case of Kurt Strand’s 122m explorer concept Auror Borealis, which we reported on earlier this week, the influencing factor on his creation was the weather. This can be seen in the rounded decks aft of the vessel from the top deck down to the waterline, as if having been weathered by the wind. This is a subtle influence with more literal examples seen by the creative works of Moore Yacht Design, which designed a 40m sloop using the shapes and colours associated with a wasp in the creation of the superstructure and sails. While the direction for the hull came from the form of a cheetah; something that is most evident towards the aft of the vessel.

From styling to structural influences, British design studio Claydon Reeves together with Dutch studio Dykstra Naval Architects looked at the strength within interconnected roots that hold large rain forest trees firm in the ground and the skeletal structure of small organisms. Their research would lead to the creation of 46m sailing yacht EXO which features an unusual and beautifully engineered exo-skeleton hull structure. The benefits of this form are plentiful but the most striking is the ability to have a large window that wraps around the side of the hull.

Nature has influenced other technological approaches such as Feadship’s 62m motoryacht concept Breathe, which also embraced biomimicry. Specifically, the Dutch shipyard looked at the black and white stripes of the zebra as a way to achieve a natural ventilation system to cool the vessel.

While these are all conceptual ideas, there have been recent examples of builds influenced by nature. Oceanco’s Project Shark, now known as DAR, was initially named after a chondrichthyan as the wing stations bear a resemblance to a hammerhead shark, while the mast in profile is shaped like a fin. The influence went beyond the exterior and to the interior as junior partner at Nuvolari Lenard Valentina Zannier explained, “The main theme is nature, starting from blossom cascades, and moving to feathers, fish, waves and so on”. The final result is quite striking.

There are many more conceptual and build examples where nature has been the main stylistic or technological influence and the reason for it is simple: beauty and strength. Our natural surrounds continue to reveal secrets that can provide the answers to many of the questions we have, especially technologically. We just need to keep listening and looking.