Amsterdam | 2021, 16 - 18 November
2017 DAME Design Awards Jury changes unveiled

2017 DAME Design Awards Jury changes unveiled


2017 DAME Design Awards Jury changes unveiled
Birgit Schnaase new Chair and three top experts in their field join the Jury

The METSTRADE team at RAI Amsterdam is very pleased to announce that international yacht interior designer and engineer Birgit Schnaase has been appointed Chair of the DAME Design Awards Jury and renowned experts in their field – Olivier Racopeau of Berret-Racopeau Yacht Design, Davide Cipriani of Centrostiledesign, and Yachting World  editor Elaine Bunting – have all been appointed as new DAME Awards Jury members.

Bill Dixon steps down after a decade of successfully leading the Jury
Birgit Schnaase succeeds Bill Dixon, who expressed the wish to step down following METSTRADE last year, after completing a successful decade chairing the Jury. Birgit was then approached to take on the role, because of her very valuable insights and leadership skills on the DAME Jury since 2012. Her 22 years of experience as an engineer and interior designer working on notable yacht, aircraft and house interior design projects will be much valued as she chairs the Jury from 2017.

Birgit Schnaase highlights the significance of becoming first female Chair
“I was very honoured to be asked to take this role,” Birgit states. “METSTRADE is the most important show worldwide for marine products and the DAME Awards is the only competition I know that does not just look at whether a product is beautiful. It assesses every aspect of its design, such as durability, innovation, functionality and whether it is likely to work well for the end user. This is important in a challenging world of changing customer expectation.

“I did take some time to consider the role before agreeing,” Birgit continues, “but in truth I could not say no. I have long stated that there should be more females working in the field of yacht and superyacht building, because women massively influence buying decisions across the marine market. We need more people involved who understand female preferences, so that they can appropriately shape our products and designs. This is my mantra and I hope that the organiser’s decision to invite me to become Jury Chair for the world’s highest profile marine design competition will encourage many more women to join the sector.”

Three top experts in their field
Olivier Racopeau, Davide Cipriani and Elaine Bunting bring with them incredible insight into yacht design, industrial design and user experience. They will join current Jury members – Bénéteau Group Brand Manager Jean François Premorel, Arjen Jansen from TU Delft University, ICOMIA’s Technical Manager Patrick Hemp, independent marine technical journalist Nigel Calder and IBI Associate Editor Dennis O’Neill.

New insight and the broadest possible knowledge
Kim Hollamby, the non-voting DAME Secretary appointed to support the Jury and organisers, explains: “We review the DAME Awards annually, to ensure it continues to brilliantly promote the benefits of great design in all of its aspects among the more than 15,000 companies that exhibit and visit in Amsterdam each year. It was outgoing Chair Bill Dixon’s suggestion, and motivation for his retirement from the Chair, that we should look to refresh the Jury members more frequently. His vision was to ensure that the DAME Awards always benefits from new insight and the broadest possible knowledge available. We took his advice and our proposals for shorter Jury terms, plus the resulting changes to three Jury members this year, were approved by the METSTRADE Exhibition Committee.”

RAI acknowledges Jury members' incredible contribution
Group Director Maritime for RAI Amsterdam, Irene Dros, said: “It’s a strong indicator of the high value of  the DAME Awards in the eyes of the industry, that so many of the sector’s leading names in their field have voluntarily served on the Jury throughout its history. We want to acknowledge the incredible contribution made to the DAME Awards by Bill Dixon, as well as by our valued outgoing Jury members Torsten Conradi of Judel/Vrolijk & co Engineering GmbH, Andrea Frabetti of Diesel Center SPA and Japec Jakopin of J&J Design. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming our new Jury members and working with our new Chair, Birgit Schnaase, as she brings her proven skills and perspective to the DAME Awards this year.

About the DAME Design Award
The DAME Awards was launched in 1991 to promote design in all disciplines and to recognise the best-designed products at the METSTRADE exhibition. Its unique relevance in the global marine marketplace has grown in parallel with the explosion in awareness of design in the world around us, from cars and architecture to fashion and consumer goods.

In making its judgements the Jury seeks to emphasise the importance of design for all marine products, from function to aesthetics and from packaging to the end-product. The DAME Jury also considers the expected impact on the marine industry of entries, their suitability for intended purpose, the level of innovation, cost, ease of use or installation and environmental impact.

The Jury is drawn from a mix of experts in their field, from the marine and broader industries. It typically includes those with naval architecture, boat design, interior design, user application and marine market experience and skills.

2017 Jury summary

Birgit Schnaase is the owner of Hamburg-based Schnaase Interior Design. She originally worked as a yacht interior designer for the Lürssen Shipyard and has since taken on many commissions across a wide range of yachts, as well as more recently working in aircraft and house interior design also. Birgit joined the DAME Jury in 2012 and has been appointed as its Chair this year.

Nigel Calder is a well-known freelance marine technical writer and consultant who works widely across the US and Europe. His publications include one of the best known technical references available today, the Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual, which is now in its fourth edition.

Patrick Hemp is a yacht designer who graduated in the USA and worked extensively in his native South Africa before joining ICOMIA as its Technical Manager in 2013, a role that sees him travel globally to work on technical legislative and standardisation issues covering recreational craft, restricted range superyachts and equipment including marine engines.

Dennis O’Neill is the Associate Editor for renowned global publication IBI and the former editor of Superyacht Business and European Boatbuilder. He is part of the team there that undertakes IBI’s extensive investigations of the global leisure marine industry to provide expert analysis of the latest commercial developments and market trends.

Dr. ir. Jansen, A.J is the Program Director of the Integrated Product Design course and the co-ordinator of the Sports Innovation programme there, at TU Delft University’s Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. He is also President of the International Sports Engineering Association and an enthusiastic sailor.

Jean François de Premorel has over 30 years’ experience of sail boat racing, boat design, construction and marketing experience in the sailboat and motor yacht sector, with 10 Atlantic crossings in his log. He is the Product Director for the Prestige Yacht brand within the Bénéteau Group.

Olivier Racopeau owns and manages the globally renowned Berret-Racoupeau Yacht Design office. Together with original partner Jean Berret he created designs that won numerous yacht races since the 1980s and he now works with his team of 12 on a varied mix of production boat, superyacht, monohull and multihull projects.

Davide Cipriani is the President of yacht design engineering at Centrostiledesign in Italy, an industrial design company with 40 employees focused on excellent co-ordination throughout every phase of yacht production, from concept to final manufacturing, to ensure products that offer smart and pleasant interaction.

Elaine Bunting is the editor of Yachting World, the UK-based global yachting publication first founded in 1894, as well as SuperSail magazine. Elaine has been sailing since the age of six, is a qualified sailing instructor, has sailed several of the world’s oceans and travels extensively to keep her finger on the pulse of sailing.

Also see the overview of the jury on the »

DAME Secretary Kim Hollamby about the announcement »

METSTRADE is the world’s leading platform and community for professionals in the leisure marine equipment industry. This global business platform and community focuses on innovation, market developments, knowledge sharing and networking. The METSTRADE Show & IBEX are the leading global trade events serving the marine industry and professionals worldwide.

Note to the editor (not for publication):
For more information, please contact the Brand Marketing Manager: Petra IJmker

+31 (0)6 120 11 899

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