Who hasn’t ever felt discomfort in the legs during a flight or had to dispute the area of the armrest while travelling by airplane?

To solve common problems like this, Embraer invested on an Integrated Design Project, focusing on passenger’s comfort inside cabins in its executive aircraft. Embraer ran this project with Brazilian organisations and universities together with under the guiding consultancy of VRD RESEARCH.

André Gasparotti; Projects Technology Development Manager for Cabin Comfort, Design and External Noise, explained the process during his presentation “Strategic Design Process at Embraer” in the second day of HSM ExpoManagement 2010:

The project consisted of integrated work of 18 professionals from various different fields, such as engineers, designers and specialists in the luxury market, and it comprised of studies on dynamics of space usage, and construction of prototypes.

The team worked together for all the year of 2008 on this project, called Integrated Design Laboratory– IDL. The unique aspect of the project was its transversal nature, which involved all members of the team from the early stages through to the final result.

In his lecture, Gasparotti listed all the different stages of the innovation process:

– Map the market’s products from both a business and a human perspective in order to obtain an accurate market position of the company.

– Identification of values demanded by the users using surveys and workshops designed to understand the real needs of the executive consumer.

– Search for solutions coming from other fields and disciplines to avoid existing, conventional solutions. For example the group “defragmented” an airplane to develop new and different spaces.

– Understand the dynamic usages of the spaces and times. The team defined people’s homes as a reference to identify trends, because there are different opportunities in home than in an airplane.

Gasparotti explained that the team was split into small groups for rapid brainstorming sessions leading to idea generation.

“The groups presented their proposals and cross-referenced them together with the other groups in order to generate an idea of an advanced aircraft cabin concept.

The next step was to define design elements of the product including development of 3Ds and testing the concept viability. A priority was to ensure that passenger space would be preserved. The company directors approved the prototype ideas, and now four patents are in process.”

Concluded the André.


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