University Students Recognised For Innovative Industrial Design Concept

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Aircraft Interiors Expo, Hamburg, April 6, 2011 — The winners of the Crystal Cabin Award 2011 talked about their innovations during a press briefing at Aircraft Interiors Expo today. Last night seven awards were presented during an awards gala dinner with winners including Recaro Aircraft Seating, The IMS Company and Lufthansa Technik.

The award in the university category went to a team of three industrial design graduates from the Munich University of Applied Sciences. Under the guidance of the university’s Professor Peter Naumann, the team answered the brief of ‘Simply Fly’ from EADS Innovation Works to come up with its futuristic design concept.

Bianca Herberth, Marina Fischer and Veronika Ruml were studying at Munich University when they began working on the project in 2008. Known as Airgonomic, the seating concept utilises a special gel inside the seat back and cushion so it moulds to a passenger’s individual shape.

Bianca Herberth said: “We wanted to concentrate on short haul flights and the economy cabin so that this could be something that everyone could experience. We did a lot of research talking to doctors, ergonomic experts and so on and discovered that only certain areas of the back need to be supported to be comfortable – from this we were able to design the seat using less material than usual and hence its unusual shape.”

The team built a couple of mock ups to test the concept on a range of passenger shapes and sizes. “It is still in development but it could take around 15 to 20 years to realise so this is just the first step,” said Herberth.

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