Dezeen Magazine

PearsonLloyd redesigns economy-class aeroplane seating to make better use of space

London studio PearsonLloyd has unveiled an aeroplane seating concept that would give more space to passengers flying economy class.

As part of an ongoing research project into how aircraft seating can be improved, PearsonLloyd has developed a seating design that makes better use of limited space, so that travellers flying on a budget can be more comfortable.

PearsonLloyd economy class airplane seating concept

"Innovation in aircraft seating is largely focused on the lucrative business class sector. Our intention in this project is to shine a light on the more challenging but more democratic environment of economy travel," studio co-director Tom Lloyd told Dezeen.

"In this design, we have been experimenting with small modifications to the layout of the seat to help enhance the sense of space for each passenger, and the ergonomic performance of the seat itself."

PearsonLloyd economy class airplane seating concept

The seating, which was visualised by London based digital production studio Neutral Digital, was created to be slender and would be constructed with a carbon-fibre internal structure. The seats themselves would be lined with foam covered with fabric made from recycled wool in two tones of grey, complete with an orange stitched trim.

According to the design team, a key improvement to the standard seat is made by separating the headrest from the chair to improve sight lines for passengers.

"The elevated headrest and narrow backpack transform the way you read the space around you and allows us to play with material applications that are informed by other sectors such as fashion and the home," continued Lloyd.

The rear of each of the seats would be covered with recycled plastic made from sunflower seeds, with aluminium elements made from recycled aircraft. Along with a screen, the back structure would contain a table that folds out and extends sideways to maximise its size.

Two storage compartments would be included to help reduce movement within the cabin by allowing passengers to store all the items they need for the flight.

PearsonLloyd was founded in 1997 by Lloyd and Luke Pearson. Although the studio has also designed business-class cabins for Lufthansa's upcoming Boeing 777-9, its primary focus is furniture for offices.

According to Pearson, this workplace-focused background helped the studio approach the project in a different way to a typical transport designer.

"Aircraft seating is predominantly designed by aircraft seating designers and manufacturers who specialise in the discipline. In our view, this leads to a certain kind of technical product," he explained.

"A much broader culture of furniture lies at the heart of PearsonLloyd's practice, and in this project we wanted to test how our work in other sectors could influence something as pragmatic and spatially challenging as an economy seat," he added.

Other recent innovations in aircraft seating include a concept for sleeping quarters in aircraft cargo compartments, complete with bunk-beds and meeting rooms, and a design for a first-class cabin with full-size beds.

Imagery is by Neutral Digital.