Project Brief

How can we imagine flight of the future for 2119?

What’s future of the flight look like? How can we make better flight experience and environment in the future? The project is part of British Airways’ 100th anniversary project to visualise the future through Speculative Design at Saatchi Gallery London. 

The exhibition BA 2119: Flight of the Future, puts forward imaginative ideas that explore how future generations will circumvent the globe, taking into consideration advanced jet propulsion, hyper personalisation, automation, AI, modular transport, sustainability, health and entertainment. 

Interviewed by

Project's main contribution

Visual Design: Graphics | Presentation Slide  Video: Scenario Making | Direction | Editing  User Journey: Future Scenario making | Mapping | Visualization | Exhibition Design:  Display Concept Design

Tools and methods we applied

Research

Desk Research / User Interview at Heathrow Airport / Future Scenario workshop / Factory Visit / Stakeholder Interview / 

Define

Future Persona / Future Journey Map / Mission statement 

Design

Physical Prototyping / Speculative FutureScenario / Data Collection Design / Exhibition Display Design / 3D modelling

Deliver

Presentation / Service Video / Public Exhibition at Saarchi Gallery / Press Release

TASTENATION | Concept video

Research

Predicting the future of 2119 and understanding the current experience

We started to work out how to predict the future a future vision mapping, what would be probable and what would be desirable and what would be unlikely in the future. We worked with Foresight Company, future trend analsis consultancy to think beyond the future scenario as depth and clear as possible. We considered to divide time span into four time frames, 3-5, 20, 50 and 100 years. The aim of the workshop was to find out signals which could potentially  affect future aviation industry as well as our environment.

Our project also invited couple of different expertises from NASA and other specialist such as mobility designer and futurist to share their own knowledge, and it gave us wider range of perspectives to think differently for the aviation industry. Interestingly, One person from USA told us that it’s very difficult industry to make completely new innovation as safety regulation is very strict and air place is not mass product which tend to be more order-made style. From the comment, we needed to consider technological and safety feasibility as top priority rather than just making speculative idea.

After the workshop and expertise’s lecture sessions we visited British Airways head office and factories to understand how each stage are operated within the organisation at the moment and we understand what should be improved and challenging due to regulation, technological limitation. We understood how the management is operated under the regulation, and how challenge for us to think innovative idea. Also, the management is so huge so that we won’t be able to innovate whole system so that we needed to focus on more specific area.

Understanding the current flight experiences

After the future scenario workshop, expertises’s lectures and visiting the BA’s head office, we started to understand the current flight experience not only customer’s perspective but also flight itself such as environmental experiences. 

We found out very unique insights from customer interviews at Heathrow Airport that user is not satisfied with the current flight experiences and the user try to find own way to kill the time such as sleeping, listening music. This trend is no matter between age groups but young user groups tended to not expect high quality services as they recognise flight is just part of transportation. And interestingly people brought own snack or small foods to survive the flight which they seem to be not satisfied with served food. 

We also looked out how the flight experiences impact our environment and in order to understand it in depth context, we visited one of BA’s food manufacture where partner company operate. Because of hygiene regulation, there is huge food waste after the flight and nothing they can handle it due to the regulation, and because of tight schedule and operational reason, they are not allowed to make good meal for all passengers (except business and first class!). 

The finding made us to think beyond only end-customer’s experience and the passenger already realise that global issues such as food waste, air-pollution is serious issues and should be sorted out as soon as possible in the future. Therefore our team decided to focus on food issue as one of our focus area.

Define

We started our project from our hypothesis with “Well-Being”, how to adjust people’s body to new destination where weather condition, time zone and cultural are different from where customer comes from because even 100 years later, the fundamental won’t change. And the after the research, we decided to focus on “food experiences” as our focus area too so that we defined our vision to combine “Well-Being” and “Dining Experience” improvement. 

In order to focus on the future, we speculated future persona to identify how the future passenger look like and what they might think of flight experiences. This speculative persona helped us what we should care about not only the customer experiences but also environments. We took this signal from current generation’s life style which new generation really care about environment and many people recognise sustainability is very important elements for the future life. The new consumer has already appeared who just choose sustainable products and service so we believed this signal won’t dissapear and will become norm, therefore our service is dedined as sustainable services.

Future User Data Collection Journey to customise personal food

We also had to consider technological feasibility and how people would live in with technologies in the future. One of the signal we took as our inspiration was “Micro Body Chip”. It has been used in some countries already and as people are capable to accept new technological improvement, so we speculated that the feature passenger will share their own personal data through the Chip. Then, we made the future data journey from Before journey to the After which enabled us to tell the story to our client, British Airways to imagine its invisible process. 

Three key considerations: User Experience, Environments and Business aspects

  • [User experience] It will be more hyper personalised based on personal data, and to do so 3D printing will enable BA to create personal food.
  • [Business Aspect] the aviation industry still rely on manual operation for making food. 3D print won’t require many pre-cooking which would save business profit and increase food safety too.
  • [Global Environment] our service will decrease food waste to zero level, decrease the weight of flight to reduse the use of fuel. And it would save the environment while saving business expenses too.  

Design

3D Prototyping | Exhibition Display Design

One of our enjoyment was to create weird food’s prototyping and we explored couple of testing by changing texture, colour, share and material. And while doing presentation to our expertises and British Airways’s people, they were able to eat the prototypes. We got strong feedback that no one dislike foods because it is fundamental human need so our idea would strongly get visitor’s attention at the exhibition. Also, people were interested in 3D printing possibility and data collection so that our presentation led us to discuss technological possibility 

We also had to consider how to exhibit our idea at Saarchi Gallery. We discussed with one of the expertise who is good at making speculative products and concept, and the discussion made our idea more clear and polished. One of the challenge was how to engage with visitors without explaining so we carefully design storytelling without many texts which was really challenging but it shaped our display design more minimal and we eventually got good feedback from exhibition’s organiser and British Airways Team. 

Deliver

Exhibition at Saatchi Gallery London

We exhibited our final product at Saatchi Gallery London as part of British Airways 100th Anniversary Project. As Saatchi Gallery is one of the most busiest gallery in London, we are succeed to attract many visitors and received really good compliments from stakeholders.

We were contacted by couple of person, from Boeing, 3D food start-up and Airline Company to talk about out idea which was really good inspiration and the exhibition attracted couple of medias such as BBC, ITV and Forbes to publish our speculative idea. The media boosted more visitors to the exhibition. 

In terms of finalisation of our design, we made 4 plates design based on different locations and Mexico, China and UK to visualise relationship with the locations and adjustment of body. We also visualised how we use personal data for making 3D food. These visual information made visitors to imagine what the future experiences with food is like. And we were very pleased that many kids were very curious about our display and wonder what it is and the parent tried to explain it, so we believed our products shaped the future generation’s imagination!