Airline Seating System, Vitra

Industrial Design

In developing designs for chairs and seating, the practice has typically developed a ‘kit-of-parts’ approach whereby a small number of finely crafted components can be assembled into a large number of products. This allows machining processes to be reduced to a minimum and results in a more cost-efficient manufacturing process.

Airline is a seating system developed with Vitra for use in public areas. The key criteria were that it should be flexible and cost-effective, have a light and non-institutional look, and be comfortable and yet capable of withstanding the rigours of public use. It was also important that the seating be easy to transport and install. The system is based on extruded and cast aluminium components refined to their minimum thickness and weight. The spine is a central beam - which requires no machining - to which individual components can be simply attached. This allows for a variety of configurations complemented by a choice of materials for both seat and back, including plywood, aluminium and upholstery. The system offers a range of seating positions from upright and short-sit to a more relaxed arrangement for longer usage.