Design that’s ‘Plane’ to see

Seven exhibitors from Aircraft Interiors Middle East 2012 discuss the aesthetics and upcoming trends of industrial design in aeroplanes

Designing the interior of an aircraft cabin is not as straight forward as people might think. It has to take into consideration weight restrictions, colour schemes that don’t clash and incorporate the latest technology to keep up with the times.

Eads Sogerma manufactures first and business class seats including the Ultimate Sleeper Suite which opens out into a full bed and the Ultimate 17 First Class Suite, C180. Other products include Evolys, Solstys Premium Business Class and Equinox.


Jeffrey Forsbrey, VP sales and marketing, said the company has its own seat design team, and in the past has worked with Pierre Jean Design Studio, which is based in Paris and specialises in both commercial and private aircrafts and yachts and Acumen Design in the UK.

“We try to work with our own in-house design team and that of the airline company. For us it’s all about the quality of the product but the challenges we face always remain the same; number one is the weight restriction, then we look to be innovative, and design a product that creates a feeling of luxury and comfort,” he said.

“A second challenge is the reliability of the product. Once we have designed something and put it out to market we need to avoid any issues with repairs and spare parts because for us it’s all about the quality of the product.”

A concept can take 24 months from start to finish and the firm tailors specific requests through its Blue Sky Programme where everything is custom-made.

EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company) includes Airbus, Eurocopter, helicopter supplier and Astrium space programmes such as Cassidian, which makes aerial, land, naval and civilian security systems.

“Our internal design team is not very big, we have about eight industrial designers based in France, but we can bring in key designers from outside or work with an airline’s marketing team to define a product,” said Forsbrey.

“We used to work with leather then swung back to fabrics but now we can produce seats from anything, from silk to wood to suede. They come in a plethora of colours from orange to purple, grey, gold or red. It’s amazing when you see how a product and marketing can evolve designs to suit the cabins and we are happy to work with their vision.”

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