Airbus - Fly your Ideas (University)
Airbus ‘Fly your ideas’ is a student competition that runs worldwide including teams consisting of engineers to business students and product designers. Through this journey I was a part of the international finalist team the Kiwi Kreators where we focused on the category ‘improving passenger comfort’ through an innovative new tray table. The new tray table, the ‘Sky Tray’ addressed the issues of confinement, instability and lack of rubbish storage that is present in the current trays.
The only team in New Zealand to qualify to Round 2
Research for the Airbus 'Fly your Ideas' competition started with defining who our users were, their pain points and how we could meet their needs. From there we organised several interviews with airline attendants and management to discover their observations and interactions with thousands of passengers and how they actually use their trays as opposed to their intended design.
Initial designs included quick sketches and CAD mock ups used for presentations to convey the path we were heading down.
Developing the idea
Further sketches and high fidelity renders/CAD sketches were used show our thinking. Scaled mock ups and small scaled user testing was performed with our sky tray in a decommissioned Boeing.
The Sky Tray. Improving economy passenger comfort through a redesign of the dinning experience.
The Sky Tray uses a thin top layer of micro suction cups made from silicon rubber to reduce the amount of movement from the food tray. The cup holder has also been designed to move independently giving the user the flexibility to place the cup without having to pull down the entire tray.
Through our research we had discovered the rubbish after dinning was a massive issue for the users as they were not able to put their tray away and had to sit with rubbish in front of them until someone came to collect their food. Not only was the rubbish an issue for users but it was also a huge issue for the airline staff, having to sort out the recycled material from the general waste and additionally having to throw away the majority of the recycled material due to food contaminates. The sky tray aims to alleviate these issues by providing a nylon and elastic mesh on the back of the tray with separate biodegradable bags for rubbish and recycling so the users can dispose of the appropriate material and have more space directly after dinning.