The Morph concept, created by Seymourpowell is based around the idea of flexible seats, which can change shape and size to provide a more tailored fit for passengers. Commonly-used foam pads are replaced by a fabric that is stretched across three seats, around a frame and over formers.
Armrests and upper dividers can be moved to provide different seat widths, while the reclining movement happens in the fabric of the chair, without the solid chair back moving.
The consultancy even suggests that smaller passengers or children ‘could sell or trade their inches to larger passengers who want more space’.
At present the newly released project remains in concept stage.
Also developed by Seymourpowell, this time with financial backing from Samsung, the Aircruise is a 265-high, hydrogen-powered airship concept, theoretically capable of flying from London to New York in 37 hours.
Seymourpowell worked up full technical specifications and visualisations for the 270-tonne Aircruise, with funding from Samsung Construction & Trading.
Aircruise would feature a luxury hotel with penthouse, four duplex apartments and five smaller apartments – all lifted by 330 000m3 of hydrogen gas.
According to Seymourpowell, hydrogen is used ‘despite the perceived risks’, due to its ‘inherent lifting efficiency’.
While former Seymourpowell design director Nick Talbot told us at the time that Samsung was ‘certainly not’ going to build the Aircruise in the near future, he said it had inspired them to think about the next steps in building construction.
Eurostar Blue Sky
A bit more down-to-earth, if only in the literal sense, is Christopher Jenner’s blue sky concept project for Eurostar.
Developed last year as a commission to envisage ‘the future of train travel’, the concept is both forward-looking and traditional, and pays homage to the golden age of travel.
Passengers would have a single, extendable, seat, with each chair providing armrest services such as air conditioning, power and communication. The seats would allow for privacy, while large-screen windows would allow passengers to watch the scenery flying by.
Materials such as hardwood and brushed brass, meanwhile, would provide a traditional touch, and be used alongside more modern carbon fibres.
While his studio is at pains to point out that the project is merely a blue sky concept, Jenner’s recent appointment as creative director of Eurostar means we should see some of his real-world projects rolling out soon.
Staying in the world of rail transport, PriestmanGoode co-founder Paul Priestman developed the Moving Platforms concept to completely revolutionise rail travel.
The concept is based around a network of constantly-moving, cross-country trains, that would provide the backbone of a high-speed UK-wide service.
Passengers wishing to make local connections would hop from the moving train on to a tram which would pull up alongside, before delivering them into a local tram network.
The high-speed train would effectively operate as a moving platform, delivering passengers up and down the country.
While Priestman freely admits that he’s under no illusion that Moving Platform is ‘a big idea’ he points out that existing plans for high-speed rail networks – such as the High Speed 2 proposals – would require completely new infrastructure and mean that high-speed trains would have to slow down between stops. ‘The problem with high-speed trains is that they are not very fast’, he points out.
One design that might look like a concept – but is actually a live project – is PriestmanGoode’s manned Space balloon, which would carry eight people in a capsule up to the edge of Space, to view the Earth’s curvature.
PriestmanGoode is working with US company Paragon Space Development Corporation to develop the designs, which have a focus on ‘enhancing comfort on board’ and creating ‘a truly transformative human experience’, according to PriestmanGoode co-founder Nigel Goode.
The flight plan is for an ascent which will take one-and-a-half to two hours, before the capsule spends between two and six hours at an altitude of 30km before returning to Earth.
Windows have been designed to offer maximum viewing space and a cupola viewing dome will allow people to gaze at the Earth while a permanently deployed parafoil will maximise safety.
PriestmanGoode and PSDC suggest that the project could be ready for take-off within three years.