The Challenge

Today, you basically get 2 choices when buying a ticket. Pay a fortune and and fly like an emperor, or pay the market economy price, and fly in cattle-class. It’s an all-or-nothing experience.

What if flying was more flexible? What if you could buy experiences à-la-carte, and pick and choose the features that meant the most to you?

Our challenge was to re-design the cabin to enable a whole new world of possibilities, and hopefully bring much needed innovation and dialog to the future of air travel.

Design Process

Research Themes

Early project research identified research themes which were intended to guide further exploration and design decisions. A successful cabin redesign that responds to lifestyle needs would require us to understanding global trends and market changes.

Urban planning

As part of our approach to finding insights we referenced modern urban planning—not as a tool to drive cabin set-out, but as a framework for seeing a growing sensibility among consumers.


Repetition is monotonous. By creating variations within iteration, we can introduce individualism and personality within a visual language.


Flexibility means reducing the complexity of options, focusing on core needs, and responding to users’ needs appropriately.


While luxury will always remain, could a cabin reflect a more modern collective experience, one based on shifting needs rather than traditional classes?


Can we create softer boundaries within space? Can this create a more interesting environment? Can a person’s surroundings unravel through time and can this notion feed into all users’ interactions?

Alone in the crowd

Re-considering the seat (and beyond) in ways that allow for communality or more privacy—depending on group, passenger or mood.

Lightweight Premium

A new emphasis on elegance and refined structural integrity. Can we remove the feeling of a bolted-together aircraft and bring a greater sense of harmony that reflects our values—fuel efficiency or material sustainability?

Traditional class segregation

The traditional aircraft layout segregates the cabin by classes. Ticket price, seat pitch, service quality, and comfort are all directly correlated and there is no opportunity to mix and match services.

The seat-centric problem

Currently, the entire flight experience is seat-centric—all experiences are based around the seat.

De-coupling certain activities from the seat will enable elevated experiences for dining, socializing or shopping—opening new revenue opportunities and improving passenger health.

Journey mapping

Re-discovering space

With the design of fuselages set for the foreseeable future, our external parameters are predefined. However, the space within is not.

Cargo as a revenue opportunity for airlines is rapidly disappearing as more planes take to the sky. Can we rethink this underutilized space?

Galleys and cross aisles remain solely the domain of the flight crews. Could repurposing them offer new services for passengers and revenue for airlines?

The crown today houses sleeping quarters for the crew but little more, could we make this a service accessible to all passengers?

A new principle

One of the main innovations was creating multi-use zones that would be used by alternate sets of passengers during different stages of the flight. This would ultimately encourage circulation and lead to new experiences and revenue streams.


During taxi, take-off, landing and meal service, one group of passengers will use a multi-purpose “blended space” zone at the front of the aircraft.


After the first service, these passengers have access to reserved private berths in the cargo area of the aircraft. This frees up the “blended space” for use by other passengers.

The Design

Features of the Lifestyle Cabin

1Blended space

A new home for premium passengers, but also a bookable space for all. Bridging gaps between classes, spaces and experiences on board.

Flexible Dual purpose TTL and lounge seating.

Convivial New opportunities for meeting and socializing in a bookable bar and chef’s table.

Personal Space for shared dining in private booths.

Freedom A wide staircase connects the lounge to a series of private berths.

2Private berths

New premium revenue experiences. Spacious lounge cabins, a boutique hotel feel. Accessed via a wide staircase from the lounge.

Unique Rest and recline in privacy or together.

Transforming Banquette seating that morphs into a wide, flat bed.

Seamless From private lounge to bedroom suite.

Enriched A real-time, augmented or stylized view from the aircraft through digital windows.

3Universal rest

A seat that encourages more natural movement and rest in a new premium sub-cabin. New landscapes of people, posture and comfort.

Simplified A non-articulating seat with a clear position for TTL.

Unrestricted Seat space that fits the body’s movement during flight.

Cocooned or open Sliding panels allow light, views and shared seating.

New classes A cabin within a cabin, new divisions running fore and aft.

4Spine/Light lounge

A central spine separates the wide cabin into social and private multi-purpose spaces. More efficient to board and a more unique space to socialize during flight. Room to move, revitalize and play.

On demand Modified, pop-up carts allow for better wellbeing and nourishment throughout the cabin.

Revitalize Flexible opportunities for self service grazing and amenities.

Mix Space to reflect, meet and share.

Explore Space to break service out from the seat.

5Modular economy

Greater comfort, privacy and shared experiences through new cabin break-ups and modular seat elements. Bringing choice and flexibility in high density areas.

Enveloped ‘Wing-backs’ offer privacy and comfort– alone or together.

Enhanced ‘Hoods’ for noise cancellation and personal audio–free from headphones.

Our space Tide breaks designate new ad-hoc spaces for families and groups.

Customer facing A transforming galley for crew – A 360 degree destination for passengers.

6Sleeper service

Re-tasking the highest density spaces with new experience and revenue opportunities. Rest, revitalization and conviviality de-coupled from the standard seat. Placing bookable bunks in the crown of the aircraft.

Adaptive Banquette seating for passengers at TTL.

Inclusive New spaces, private bunks, better rest.

Anytime Totems de-couple service away from the seat.

Sociability A mixed use Galley, flexing to fit needs. Creating a new destination for all.

Jean-Christophe Gaudeau and Victor Carlioz accepting the Crystal Cabin award for our team.