This cool airplane cabin concept just bagged a design award

A futuristic cabin design that looks like a home from home has just bagged an award for excellence in aircraft interior innovation.

At a special ceremony in Hamburg, Germany, on Tuesday night, the Crystal Cabin Award for best cabin concept went to Teague and NORDAM for their “Elevate” design. Check out the winning entry in the image gallery:

A panel of industry experts selected the entry by Washington-based design company Teague and Oklahoma-based NORDAM over other finalists whose efforts feature in the video below:

The competition organizers described Elevate as a “visually arresting design [that] uses floating furniture attached to wall braces to give a freer, more organic and more immersive feel than comparable premium accommodation concepts for singleaisle aircraft.”

Other notable features include a lightweight design to reduce fuel burn, and the use of simpler components that enable easier maintenance.

The design was geared toward giving premium passengers a feeling of spaciousness without forcing airlines to cut down on seat numbers.

Teague and NORDAM noted how today’s cabin designs are hampered by having to use furniture attachment points located only in the seat-tracks.

“Elevate is the first cabin in history to implement sidewall attachment points that enable the creation of a lighter and more efficient suite environment,” the winners said. “By utilizing mounted fixtures in the sidewall that eliminate restrictive structures around the monitor, side-furniture, and ottoman, the Elevate concept increases the bed size, living space, and stowage capacity for every passenger — providing a larger floorspace and promoting an expansive living space.”

Anthony Harcup, Teague’s senior director of airline experience, said the winning design marked “a new generation of beautiful, simplified cabin products that will enable airlines to deliver exceptional experiences for their passengers with the economic efficiency that these smaller aircraft were designed to deliver,” while NORDAM chief Meredith Siegfried Madden described Elevate as “a next-generation innovation that enables more creative freedom for the aircraft interior design community.”

Whether airlines incorporate ideas from Elevate remains to be seen, but the design will surely appeal to folks who can afford the pricier plane seats. It’s certainly more attractive than these “bicycle saddle” seats that showed up in an Airbus patent several years ago.

The Crystal Cabin Award launched in 2007 with the aim of initiating meaningful improvements in passenger comfort. Other awards were presented for the best innovations in areas such as cabin systems, health and safety, and sustainable cabin design.

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