The Young designer of the year at DN: “AI will revolutionize boat design”

Our interview at Pradipta R. Hakim, indonesian winner of "Young designer of the year 2024" prize

13 February 2024 | by Redazione Daily Nautica

The young Indonesian Pradipta R. Hakim won the Young Designer of the Year 2024, sponsored by Feadship for the first time, awarded during the Boat International Design & Innovation Awards ceremony in Kitzbühel, Austria. The student from the Indonesian Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology, a public university in Surabaya, on the island of Java, stood out thanks to the Blueminance yacht concept. We interviewed him to understand the passions and aspirations of a boat designer of tomorrow.

Young designer of the year 2024How did your fascination for boats arise? Does it have distant origins or is it more recent?

My passion for boats ignited during my bachelor’s degree in naval architecture. It all began with a fascination for high-speed boats, prompting me to craft my own RC boat. This marked the beginning of my venture into 3D modeling and designing small boat. My enthusiasm for smaller boat ultimately guided me towards a career in naval architecture and engineering.

Has the country you come from, with traditions and habits linked to the natural world, influenced your research and work?

Growing up in Indonesia, a nation with a rich history as an archipelagic and maritime hub, has undeniably influenced my work. Our country’s past, including its formidable military fleet, has provided a deep well of inspiration and insight into naval architecture. The cultural reverence for the sea and its traditions has instilled in me a profound appreciation for the importance of sustainable and innovative design in the marine industry. Also, with Indonesia’s vibrant cultural heritage deeply intertwined with nature, has undeniably influenced my work. The diverse marine ecosystems and traditional boat-building techniques have inspired my research and design approach, emphasizing sustainability and harmonious coexistence with the environment.

Which your project you think is the best? And what about a colleague’s project which particularly impressed or influenced you?

One of my standout projects was a freelance project involving the design of a 39m Indonesian traditional wooden yacht. The uniqueness stemmed from the owner empowering me as the designer, granting the freedom to infuse my creativity into the yacht’s design.

Regarding a colleague’s project, during my tenure at a naval architecture studio, there was a remarkable 10m yacht collaboration with a designer. What set it apart was the designer’s collaborative approach. He actively involved the team in discussions about his design process, creating a valuable learning experience and insight into the intricacies of the design flow.

This year you were awarded Young designer of the year by Boat International, a very important international award. What struck the jurors about your project? And what will change now for your career?

During a video call discussion with Tanno Weeda, Feadship’s Head of Design, he specifically praised my design presentation, highlighting the exceptional composition and detailed descriptions. He commended the elegant lines on the side hull and the innovative mast design, expressing his deep admiration for these features. Moreover, he acknowledged the strong conceptual foundation of the yacht, emphasizing its spacious open areas and well-connected layout.

As for the impact on my career, this recognition is a game-changer. It opens doors to new opportunities, establishes credibility in the industry, and enhances my professional visibility. The award serves as a stepping stone, allowing me to explore more ambitious projects and collaborate with influential figures in the field, ultimately shaping the trajectory of my career in yacht design.

Feadship is sponsor of the competition and it will be your mentor for a year, hosting you at the production site and at various international trade fairs. Have you already met the team for a possible proposal to implement the project with which you won? What do you expect from these collaboration?

I haven’t had discussions with Feadship regarding the implementation of the award-winning project yet. However, I am eager to explore this possibility. I anticipate a collaborative effort to refine and bring my design to life, leveraging their expertise and resources. I expect to gain valuable insights, guidance, and the chance to refine and elevate my design under their expertise. This collaboration offers a unique opportunity for hands-on learning, networking, and the realization of innovative design concepts.

As a young designer, what do you think is the future of boating and more specifically that of the boat designer? And what about your profession’s future?

In my perspective, the future of boating holds exciting possibilities, driven by advancements in technology and a growing emphasis on sustainability. Boat designers will play a crucial role in shaping this future, integrating innovative materials, energy-efficient systems, and contemporary design principles. I believe collaboration across disciplines will become increasingly important, fostering a holistic approach to yacht design.

As for the future of my profession, I anticipate a continued evolution towards more environmentally conscious and user-centric designs. Embracing digital tools and virtual reality in the design process may become more prevalent, allowing for enhanced visualization and collaboration. Additionally, a heightened awareness of eco-friendly practices will likely shape the next generation of boat designers, contributing to a more sustainable and responsible industry.

Do you think that AI could influence the world of nautical design in the near future?

Absolutely, I foresee AI playing a significant role in the yacht design industry. Personally, I’ve already integrated AI into my initial design process to generate innovative ideas. AI technologies have the potential to streamline the design process by analyzing vast amounts of data, empowering designers to make informed decisions efficiently.

However, as a designer, I recognize that AI lacks emotional intelligence. This highlights a crucial aspect for designers in the future: bridging the gap in AI’s limitations by infusing the designs with soul and spirit. This human touch will ensure that AI-enhanced designs maintain a unique and meaningful connection with users.

Do you have any advice for colleagues who will participate in the next edition of the Young designer of the year award?

While I believe all participants of Young Designer of the Year are highly capable, I’d like to emphasize the importance of seeking feedback. Gathering input from peers, mentors, and professionals in the industry plays a crucial role in our growth and improvement as designers. Adaptability is also key to thriving in this dynamic field. Additionally, remember that the journey is as important as the destination, so enjoy the creative process and I wish the best of luck to all participant in the next competition!

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