Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
A new, exciting First Class & Economy cabin design for Hawaiian Airlines that captures the spirit of Hawaii through fresh cultural connotations that avoids the familiar and cliched semiology.
First aircraft will be completed later in 2016 with rapid expansion across the long-haul fleet.
Our task included business case contribution, product analysis, configuration design, brand strategy, interior design, industrial design, service design, color & material, trim & finish design:
Seat 'touch-point' styling (both FC & Economy), interior, lighting, carpets, curtains, catering, seat fabric & leather design and specification
This is truly a testament to the power of design to move people, differentiate brand, drive a premium price-point, retain competitive advantage and open the eyes of senior leadership to place design in a central and influential position within the organization.
Kudos to the team at Hawaiian Airlines in engaging, for the very first time, a specialist design consultancy in this capacity!!!
Our intention was to express a modern, stylish
and relevant product, yet anchor the design language in the authenticity of the
brand and its guiding cultural identity.
The key focal points of the seat are:
wonderful wave-like back shell form language detail, inspired by the harmony and balance of Hawaii that contrasts with . . .
2. A bamboo-inspired
thatched translucent privacy screen.
We believe that these two innovations are breakthrough for commercial aviation in terms of new materials not yet seen in commercial aviation and a form language that speaks to a premium leisure market while retaining modernity, innovation and cultural references.
Our role then was the creation of a new Economy cabin the design that compliments, yet contrasts the new First Class experience. This was a further exploration of integration while differentiating the different yielding products and associated brand positionings.
Most First Class and Business Class seats today are designed around passenger needs of privacy and comfort, however, this design is intended to encourage connectivity over individuality to reflect the customer base and revenue stream to the airline that is couple and group-based international guests.
This program was a dream come true for the team. Having created the
new JetBlue MINT and core cabin interior, three years ago, we would be lying if we said that we weren’t especially excited
about reinventing the First Class cabin experience for our friends at Hawaiian
Airlines. Although you are now seeing the product, close to completion, there
were years of designing that preceded what you see today.
The first part of our
task was actually very technical and analytical. Working with the company’s
Strategy & Transformation Team, we developed an agreed commercial,
ergonomic, operations and brand experience-led criteria and analyzed literally
hundreds of different configuration designs, using many different products,
before we collectively agreed on a solution.
The second part of our project was to create a truly unique and bespoke brand expression for Hawaiian Airlines using our skills in brand strategy, industrial design, interior design, color and material, trim and finish. Looking holistically, striving for a premium expression and being true to the unique brand positioning was a careful harmonious balance to achieve and the market agrees that we have achieved this with style.
The vision of paulwylde, one of the smaller (and very few US-based players) in the airline design world, is to create magical brands that move people.
We wanted the first read by the guest to be one of presence and
distinction - instantly inspired, delighted and excited. Then, very quickly,
relaxed, comforted and reassured. People travel to Hawaii to celebrate life’s
most special moments - marriage, retirement, escape, celebration, love,
The cabin experience that takes them there should be as magical as
the destination itself.
The brand promise is to begin the journey to Hawaii the minute to step on-board. We tried to honor this strategic ambition, as best we could, given the technical restrictions of the modern aircraft cabin.
Finding natural beauty
in Hawaii was not difficult for our team.
Our task was not to fall into the
immediate of obvious cultural cliches. Our task was one of connotation, not
We wanted to evoke the values of Hawaii’s natural environment - space, time, harmony, color, balance, horizon. It really is a sanitary of the senses, especially when the layer of soft product will be added. We made the observation that texture is synonymous with Hawaain style - in architecture, fashion and furniture design. We tried to translate this cultural cue into the cabin interior experience.
The First Class seat
shell outer is a beautiful stone grey that we call Poi - that integrates
with the overall interior envelope architecture and evokes calm and balance.
The inside of the seat is a deliberate contest of deep espresso and ice blue
stitching - that helps us signal premium for a wide range of markets. The contrast
of the two signals modernity. Careful accents of ice blue and the more
flamboyant and rich brand colors of Aloha Pink, Ho’okipa Plue and Cloud White
will be applied to soft product.
Texture is crucial for this brand in particular. We wanted to bring the magic of Hawaii into the cabin interior. Working with the seat manufacturers and Poltrona Frau in Italy, we identified key touchpoint of the seat and deployed beautiful contrast stitch detailing so that the seat feels almost as if its been crafted as apposed to manufactured. The carpets and curtains have been created holistically. The cabin will feel elegant yet natural, refined yet joyful.
In summary, this is a success story in
design and brand integration - both from Hawaiin’s mastery of coordinating such a complex
program, but also the overall visual gestalt of the interior.
Our favorite aspect is the overall harmony of all elements working together. The seat back shell wave detail and the bamboo-thatch insider translucent privacy screen will become two icons or focal-point details that will ensure that Hawaiian stands out and stays there amidst a crowded seat marketplace where many generic solutions now blur into another.
This is truly the power of design to move people, differentiate brand, drive a premium price-point, retain competitive advantage and open the eyes of senior leadership to place design in a central and influential position within the organization.
“We have designed an experience that will usher in a new era in premium service to Hawai’i, one that resulted from a thorough review of guest feedback and intensive research to develop a best-in-class product for our long haul aircraft,” said Mark Dunkerley, President and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines. “Together with our partners at Optimares and PaulWylde, we have created a truly bespoke design that delivers world-class comfort and style, while staying true to our island roots. Whether traveling for business, with family or on a romantic retreat, the new premium cabin evokes an engaging bold, contemporary sense of Hawai‘i, complemented by the warm aloha spirit of our cabin crew. We’re creating an environment of tranquility and comfort in the air.”
The 180-degree seats will use an innovative seat platform to fold into 76-inch beds, maximizing living space for travelers while providing options for both privacy and a shared flight experience. They will also feature an advanced in-flight entertainment experience powered by the next generation of large-format tablets and equipped with a telescoping tablet arm that adjusts to optimize viewing angle and comfort.
“The new premium class product implemented exclusively for Hawaiian Airlines by Optimares has been developed around a clear strategic vision shared between the teams,” said Alessandro Braca, CEO of Optimares. “The product has been created for the unique needs and expectations of the Hawaiian Airlines guest, combining high-tech solutions and a truly innovative design.”
Hawaiian worked with West Coast-based brand and design consultancy PaulWylde to translate the airline’s signature design language, rooted in the natural colors and forms of the island landscape, into the cabin experience. The cabin design will incorporate flowing curves evocative of the winds and ocean, while marrying organic textures, pops of bright saturated color, and luxury materials like leather from Poltrona Frau.
“There’s an undeniable magic to Hawaiian. The airline has such a rich culture and romantic brand identity that stands out from other airlines with distinction,” said Paul Wylde, founder, CEO and creative director “It’s a designer’s dream to be able to translate this brand expression into the modern aircraft cabin environment. Our challenge was to balance a modern, stylish and premium aesthetic that’s increasingly expected from guests with the unique authenticity, culture and color of Hawaii – a destination that many compare to paradise.”
Hawaiian, PaulWylde and Optimares collaborated intensively to ensure the seat and cabins are uniquely tailored to the needs of the Hawaii traveler. The seats will be installed in a 2-2-2 configuration ideally suited for couples and families traveling to the beautiful Hawaiian Islands.
The first newly outfitted aircraft is expected to enter Hawaiian’s long-haul network in the second quarter of 2016. The airline will begin installing lie-flat seats in the remaining 22 A330 aircraft in September of 2016 through 2017.
As part of the cabin redesign, Hawaiian also announced it will add 28 additional Extra Comfort seats on each A330 aircraft in response to growing demand for its popular premium economy service. The Extra Comfort option features 36 inches of seat pitch; priority boarding at the gate; complimentary on-demand in-seat entertainment; and a personal power outlet.
Today, Hawaiian’s wide-body, twin-aisle Airbus 330-200 aircraft seat 294 passengers, with 18 in Business/First Class, 40 in Extra Comfort and 236 in the Main Cabin. In the new configuration, the aircraft will seat 278 passengers, with 18 in Business/First Class, 68 in Extra Comfort and 192 in the Main Cabin. Seat pitch in the Main Cabin will remain a roomy 31 inches.
Hawaiian operates its A330 aircraft on the majority of its North American and international routes. Amenities include personal on-demand entertainment system, comfortable legroom, and a roomy interior. Adding to the enjoyment of the travel experience is the carrier’s signature onboard hospitality program, Mea Ho‘okipa (translation: I am host). Travelers are treated to island-inspired complimentary meals and made-in-Hawai‘i snacks to go along with the airline’s engaging presentation of the islands’ culture, people and Aloha Spirit throughout the flight.
A fresh approach for a traditionally underserved interior space which gives users an “ahead of time” Hawaiian experience.
A true holistic approach, strong color/material work with clever application of native themes. An appealing place to spend flight time.