Birgit Schnaase, first president of the DAME Award
After 10 years at the head of the DAME Award jury, British naval architect Bill Dixon is leaving his post. Birgit Schnaase replaces him to direct the innovation prize, awarded every year during the METS show, the annual meeting of marine equipment manufacturers in Amsterdam. Engineer and interior designer for yachts, but also planes and houses for 22 years and member of the jury of the DAME Award since 2012, she is the first woman to chair it.
"I was very honored to be offered this position. The DAME Award is the only competition I know of that does not only look at whether a product is beautiful. It controls all aspects of the design, such as its durability, innovation, functionality and that it will work well for the end user. I have long advocated for more women to work in yacht and superyacht construction, because women have a massive influence in purchasing decisions in the yachting industry. We need more people involved who understand women's preferences, so that they can design appropriate products and shapes. This is my mantra and I hope that the decision of the organizers to appoint me president of the jury of the largest maritime design competition in the world will encourage many women to join the sector."
3 new members including 1 French member
The renewal of the jury, wanted by the outgoing president to better fit the market, also implies the appointment of 3 new members. The naval architect Olivier Racoupeau will join the other French member of the jury, Jean-François Prémorel of Bénéteau Group. The other two recruits are Davide Cipriani from Centrostile design and Elaine Bunting from Yachting World newspaper. Arjen Jansen from TU Delft, Patrick Hemp from ICOMIA, journalist Nigel Calder and Dennis O'Neill from IBI will remain on the jury.