IMAT – Airport Seating

Physical


Client:Imat

Date:2015

Link:www.imat.com

Type:Product Design

Airports are by nature massive, stressful, and confusing places.  But in just the past decade, the way that we think of airports has changed dramatically. Airports are now becoming more integrated with their surroundings and hosting new experiences for passengers.  They are becoming more contextualized and reflective of the local environment. That’s why nowaday, more and more time and money is being invested to improve the user experience at these spaces.

IMAT, a company from Alava with a recognized trajectory in the industry, contacted us so as to design a new aerospace bench, which would take into account all these changes occurring at the airports. We found out that most of the airport bench manufacturers have tried to impregnate their designs with the heaviness and masculinity of the aerospace industry, trying to reflect the men and machine power.  In that point, we looked for a disruptive point of view, opposed to the traditional one, to finally create “MEGARA”.

The Challenge


An airplane is speed, movement and change with an unavoidable masculine connotation. However, an airport bench is static and unchangeable, that’s why it has to be complementary to the airplane concept. Our challenge was to create bench that was the feminine side of aviation, the complementary part, welcoming, sensual, charismatic and full of personality.

Design Research


The process that followed the design of Megara was a projection exercise very close to architecture, the concept was built and it served as guideline for the formal propositions that were born from sketches. This aesthetic work had also to give response to the functional necessities that were detected in the deep analysis of the existing products. Finally getting to know IMAT’s manufacturing technologies was one of the main specifications previous to start with the design.

The Solution


We called our design Megara, named after the wife of the Greek myth Hercules, a name with which was baptized the well-known American carrier manufactured in the 50s. Megara is a bench with simple shapes, coherent, elegant, resistant and versatile.

“Design, quality, continuity, adaptation, commitment, respect, thoroughness.”

Design Insights


A bench is an element that is repeated many times in the airport space. That clearly indicated the necessity of working with simple shapes, coherent, like Megara’s bench, trying to make minimum the impact in the context and the architecture. This approach provides the product with great value and versatility due to its power to adapt to very different scenarios. Moreover, the bench’s life expectancy is very long in comparison with other products, that’s why it has to be oblivious to trend and very marked styles that could make its shape obsolete.

Engineering


Due to the increasing necessity of having access to a power source that allowed us to charge different actual devices, especially when travelling, we designed a connectivity kit that is easy to install in the different Imat benches giving users the chance to charge phones, laptops, cameras etc. in a comfortable way. We studied many product configurations opting at the end for a symmetrical design that fits between two seats giving service to both passengers at the same time. In collaboration with IED ELECTRONICS we created an efficient product, secure and able to receive an American UL certification.