RAND redefines the motor boating experience with electric picnic series
all images courtesy of RAND boats
surrounded by canals, lakes and open sea water, the danes love to spend their time outdoors with a boat. RAND was founded to exemplify this love, and did so in the form of their ‘picnic’ boats. through aesthetically design and electrical sustainable systems, they are committed in changing the luxury boating industry.
the RAND ‘picnic’ boat
the ‘picnic’ boats are designed to nurture a luxurious boating experience within its physical confinements. measuring only five meters long, its merits are the spacious seating rows that fit up to 10 passengers, a stainless steel bathing ladder and a 2.5 meter convertible sun lounge for relaxing in the breeze. the whole cabin is balanced around the center steering console. it combines simple lines of the hull with rounded seating and carefully selected kebony wood covering both the table and the dashboard. overall, RAND sets its ambitions for sustainable boating very high. the design team ensured that the whole project is built from recycled materials and powered strictly by an electric engine.
the hull shape offers versatile docking options
the drive system can offer up to 16 hours of boating at a maximum speed of 13 km/h. it only takes a minimum of one hour to charge, but the company is also collaborating with black silicon solar to offer every inch of the ‘picnic’ boat to be covered in solar cells.
designboom spoke to carl kai, lead danish designer at RAND, who discussed his background, the need for sustainable options and the company’s future projects.
designboom: what originally made you want to study architecture and broaden your design portfolio?
carl kai: since I can remember I have had a profound curiosity regarding the things around us and I am deeply fascinated about the journey of creating something a better. more specifically, I have wanted to design boats since I started sailing at six years old, so my path has been completely clear to me since that day. architecture and product design gave me a different and academical approach which provided the best possible foundation.
the electric torqeedo engine
DB: what particular aspects of your background and upbringing have shaped your design principles and philosophies?
CK: growing up in a family that nourished creativity and supported any personal endeavor with confidence but also responsibility, gave me a unique set of values that I can see translates into my work and vision. from my involvement in by parents fashion company as the creative director, where understanding the search for individuality, quality and style is vital, to my education as an architect and following work molding the spatial feel and interaction with the human scale and the bodies proportion, to my master in product design and boat design brought intense focus on innovation, functionality and details. it has resulted in what I believe to be a perfect blend of lifestyle, architecture and industrial design.
DB: how often do you find yourself lake side or in a boat?
CK: in copenhagen, we are lucky enough to be surrounded by water and our office is right next to central channel. my home overlooks a lake and every holiday is by or on the ocean, so it is fair to say the I am very drawn to it. I am lucky enough to own a classic mahogany cruiser, a modern sport runabout, a 8 meter sailboat and of course the ultimate social channel cruiser – the RAND picnic sport. during high season, I am on a boat several of times a week.
the series is only 500 cm in length
DB: why did the company decide to make the ‘picnic’ series electric?
CK: it was the only right choice. when we start a project we look at making the best of something very particular, in this case a new type of boat – a picnic boat. for us the reason we are drawn to the ocean is clear. we, as humans thrive being in contact with nature. it is the ultimate sense of freedom, dreaming beyond the horizon and feeling the surrounding nature. this is pristine and best experienced by sail or now by electricity. a polluting, noisy, gasoline engine would separate you from the social interaction on board and lay waste to the nature that we are out there to connect with.
DB: who / what has been the biggest influence for designing the rand boats?
CK: there was a very clear set of goals that we needed to fulfill, to realize the potential of the concept. boats are normally more than anything affected by compromise. we held the experience at the center and worked our values into the concept making it sustainable and aesthetical with easy usability and groundbracking social functionality.
kebony wood covers both the table and the console dashboard
DB: overall, what would you say is scandinavian design’s strongest asset and how have you developed it over time?
CK: I think that dieter rams preaching interprets the scandinavian design philosophy to some extend, and then I think that there is an additional strong focus on the natural and the poetic. I think this is what sets scandinavian design apart and this is the focus that I have inherited, and have evolved through my education at KARCH denmark and RISD in USA and my work with architecture, design and lifestyle. fusing usability, experience, details, aesthetics and innovation into one natural entity that is easily perceived and the best solution.
DB: how – and to what extent – do other creative fields influence your work?
CK: I can’t help doing some furniture and product design with my very talented fiancé who’s also an architect, and owns studio theresa arns. I still find it extremely stimulating to work with architecture and interior design. these two fields of creative input is what makes our approach unique. it pushes us to rethink, redesign and establish a better approach to what the boating experience is.
designer of the rand boats, carl kai
DB: which architects or designers working today do you most admire?
CK: designers like jasper morrison, gamfratesi, yves béhar, and boat designer luca brenta. architects too, like herzog de meuron, kengo kuma and tadao ando.
DB: can you tell us about any projects you are currently working on that you are especially excited about? larger rand boats? sail boats?
CK: we are extremely excited about what is under development at the R&D and design team. Both are pushing the boundaries of innovation and we are going to reveal truly wonderful things later this year, and maybe even for this season…. to give a give you a few teaser headlines we expect a picnic yacht tender version, a 25 foot gamechanging runabout and a 100 foot carbon solar yacht.
the round design follows throughout the boat