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Good Design Awards ARCHIVE 2017 Transportation
Rhombus 2017
Rhombus 2017
Designers: J. Hontz, Rockwell Collins Interiors, Advanced Design Group, Rockwell Collins Inc., Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
Manufacturer: Rockwell Collins Inc., Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA

Rhombus is a business class seat that leverages lightweight and proven technology for today’s traveling needs.

It is fully electric, replacing many heavier mechanically actuated seats. Rhombus also provides a lay-flat sleeping option, typically not found in a mechanical business seat.

Generous living space affords room to work on one’s laptop, turn for a sip of coffee and then back again without the hindrances experienced in other products.

Designed for long distance flights, the seat is meant to be the business traveler’s home in the sky. It offers industry leading storage options and class leading comfort in all modes of flight.

Contemporary, yet classic, styling cues will keep the product fresh for many years to come, accentuating a client’s brand image.

Rhombus is not just typical product design, but an exercise in continuous product improvement techniques. This required thoroughly disciplined planning, teamwork and execution. As a part of this process, all of the applied comfort technologies, engineering part designs and industrial design builds were evaluated.

We sought to uncover what was working, what wasn't, and why. What did we find out and how are these issues addressed? Answers to these difficult questions were uncovered as we designed Rhombus. Many commonly accepted standards and norms were challenged across internal engineering as well as outside partners.

The unique look of the seat challenges the company's self referential view of who flies in premium cabin. Rhombus is inspired by our findings in the furniture and interiors industry. Other projects are often defined by the product design and automotive world, but our remit is to make our business class seats feel like home as much as possible. Hence our focus on fabrics, colours and patterns.

What does your favourite couch feel like at home? Do you doze off in it? What is your desk like? Are you the most productive sitting behind it? What kinds of colours and patterns do you surround yourself with? What do you need for a good night's sleep?

These are the questions we asked of people who would actually use our product. As it is often said, comfort is as much a state of mind as physical reality, leading to the best mix of aesthetics and functionality for an airplane environment.

In addition to this kind of engagement, the design itself features many stowage areas for laptops, tablets, phones, passports, etc. All of this functionality also complements extra large widescreen monitors.

As it directly relates to our airline purchasers, our seat has a small footprint due to savings in efficient parts and structural design. Living space has been increased within that same footprint. This means; more density, which means more paying customers and revenue. Rhombus is lighter than some previous premium designs, which means less fuel consumption per flight.

In the end, it's the passenger who wins.

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