Philippe Starck’s Dream of Winter Gondola is a solar-powered sustainable tribute to Venice


Dream of Winter Gondola concept is Philippe Starck’s Modern Take on the Traditional Venetian Boat.

@Philippe Starck Dream of Winter Gondola concept

Illustrious French designer Philippe Starck has imagined a solar powered and sustainable gondola as part of an initiative to encourage Venetians to use design as a tool for innovation. His “Dream of Winter Gondola” is a contemporary take on the traditional flat-bottomed rowing vessels which are so much part of the Venice charm.

Philippe Starck gives gondola a modern twist.

At the request of VeniSIA, part of Venezia Capitale Mondiale della Sostenibilità, Philippe Starck creates a symbol, the “Dream of Winter Gondola”. VeniSIA is the corporate accelerator devoted to the development of business ideas and technology solutions to face climate changes and other environmental challenges.

Philippe Starck, who considers himself as a stable citizen of Burano, since 50 years, has been invited by Marco Balich, member of VeniSIA who is supporting the creativity actions and strategies for the innovation, to be the first of the many international creative personalities and talents to participate to VeniSIA, the corporate accelerator part of Venezia Capitale Mondiale della Sostenibilità, project supported by the region of Veneto and the Italian Government. Philippe Starck has created a symbol that merges the identity of Italian beauty and heritage with his talent to deliver a message internationally resonant,

@Philippe Starck Dream of Winter Gondola concept

“I have a lot of admiration and respect for the gondola, one of the most complex boat in the world as its design is completely asymmetric but nevertheless its weight is perfectly balanced and can goes straight even in the hardest conditions. It’s magic, it’s pure magic. That’s why it’s a great honour for me to dream about a gondola and especially, on a winter gondola with a small room in the centre. That’s why what I show you today don’t try to be realistic, it’s just a dream. The technical specs of the gondola I have thought about are interesting: durable hi-tech materials and technology (seaweed bio resins, compressed bamboo, gyroscopic stabilizer powered by solar energy, electric assistance with a mini electric turbine powered by solar energy and hydro-generator, etc.)” explains the creator Philippe Starck.

The winter gondola will not need a full-time gondolier.

“The experience will be unique as it shall reflect the elegance of intelligence. Every material here serves a purpose. I have used ecological materials such as arachnid because it is the strongest as well as the lightest material on earth. This can help the gondolier in the practice of his art. The bio resin made of seaweed is the link for the arachnid.” – Starck told Forbes in an interview.

“As Venetian, I’m really happy to support this very valuable project. Creativity has a fundamental role in it and it’s fantastic to have a worldwide renowned star of design such as Philippe Starck, so in love with Venice, to be involved in making a strong statement that takes inspiration from the most famous icon of Venice, the gondola, and puts together Italian traditions with a concept able to speak to all generations about the importance of sustainability in such a fragile context as it is this city” said Marco Balich.

@Philippe Starck Dream of Winter Gondola concept