Eden: a Game Changer in the Yachting Industry

Using a multidisciplinary approach to blend design, technology and production

This year’s Monaco Yacht Show will see the launch of Eden, a unique project concerning one of the most sophisticated yachts to sail the oceans. Eden will not only be unique in terms of technology and design. The core innovation can be found in the multidisciplinary approach and the application of new studies that will be a game-changer in the Yachting industry. In this post I will share an exclusive behind-the-scenes insight of my involvement as an interaction designer in the development of Eden..


In 2015, I was invited to work at the LuxperienceLab, the well-known design department of VBH, the leading system integrating companies for superyachts. As an interaction designer, I studied the application of the User Center Design framework to create experiences and products. When I joined VBH, I quickly understood why this approach was beneficial for a company that is designing and developing bespoken AV-IT systems. For that matter, together with my manager Casper Kleiman, we started to apply design methodologies to develop experiences on board luxury Yachts.
The implementation of the User Center Design framework took a couple of years and passed different stages. However, with Eden an opportunity arrived that gave the LuxperienceLab the chance to fully apply our methodology and to create something that could be a game changer in the industry.
A multidisciplinary approach
One of the main task of the LuxperienceLab is to create bespoken technologies for our clients. This includes special led walls installations, VR experiences, artistic installations, etc. Many times, however, the bespoken proposals are not further developed for various reasons: the high costs that it would take to implement, the development would not fit the timeline or the modifications to the yacht would have such a high cost and time impact that the team or the owner would not pursue the idea anymore. After seeing this for a while, our efforts as LuxperienceLab started to turn into defeating this challenge. This left a simple question to answer: Could we include our customized installations at an earlier stage in the development of a Yacht?
At an event of the industry, Young professionals in Yachting, my colleague Goran Antonijevic met Amna Mulabegovich (interior designer) and Koert Klaren (Interior Engineer). After talking to each other, it became clear that a multidisciplinary approach could provide a new and fresh possibility that could test the design frameworks of the LuxperienceLab.
As of January this year, we began working on Eden. We decided to form a multidisciplinary team with Amna and Koert. Also, Edwin Vandermark (exterior designer) joined the team. This fusion of disciplines gave birth to project Eden.

Integrating design, production, and technology
At the start of the project, I organized some creative sessions focussing on different design perspectives. The idea was to create a 360 degrees overview of the abilities of the team. We dealt with various aspects of the development of a Yacht, such as spaces, flows, construction, developments and even the technology required that would ensure that the user would experience and live the atmosphere and emotions that the interior designer has envisioned. Moreover, this approach allowed us to answers questions about usability, user characteristics, environment, and the workflow of the spaces which give life to a yacht itself. As with any design process, we required different iterations and we had to review multiple solutions. We were really answering the multi-stage problem-solving process with a particular Yacht.
It was fundamental that the team included designers from multiple disciplines. This helped to understand what the experience and the emotional description was all about. In addition, it made us aware of the impact of the requirements of one discipline to the others. At this stage, my skills as an interaction designer accommodated the process. My main role was to translate the adjectives and emotions to the technical constraints for the different disciplines and vice versa. Technology can sometimes only deliver a specific experience. By helping the designer to understand this, made it made it actually easier to use the technology to its complete advantage within the design. Hence, the Eden project showcases a unique integration of design, production, and technology.
A game-changer for the Industry
Much of my involvement in the Eden project has provided me with some conclusions that I want to share with the industry:

  • Today AV systems have a great impact on the owner and their experience on board. This situation is caused due to the interaction between interfaces and the user.

  • The interface create a different experience on board, for this reason interaction designs and creative technologists should be part of the design stage of the vessel, at least in consultation, to help the creation of user journeys that could easily enable to amaze the new owners and to create more cohesive interactions between spaces and technology.

  • The AV supplier should be able to access or co-work with the interior designers so that the interfaces and systems on board can be part of the user journeys.

  • Most of the yards and the industry benefit from using the creative sessions as a mean to connect and bring together different disciplines and suppliers. This creates multi-disciplinary solutions.

  • By putting together the designers of the Yard, the Interior, and Exterior designers but also the creative resources of the suppliers, risk and development can be previously evaluated, this can mitigate risk at development or quoting stage.

  • It is not about involving everyone at the start, but more on forming the right teams. Specialists that can speak the same language and translate into the right requirements. This is why Interaction designers and creative technologist could be essential for the yachting industry. These two disciplines could bring into the design stages the User Center Process, and with this create requirements that the suppliers can better understand or further develop.

After three years and a half, I am proud to present M/Y Eden, a 110 m design Yacht. This project is not about only the innovation within technology or design The core innovation can be found in the multidisciplinary approach and the application of new studies that will be a game-changer in the Yachting industry.
I want to thank the LuxperienceLab, Casper (my mentor), Goran, Amna, Koert and Edwin for this past 8 months of work and development. To the overall all to see that what the Luxperiencelab was and is beating for has a future. Do not forget to visit the next post to see the result of Eden and more experiences.