Shannon Gill, director of business development at MSB Design, outlines key trends for 2018 and shares details of upcoming innovations
What aesthetic styles, colors and textures will be popular in the year ahead?
We have noticed a trend toward darker, textured finishes for our CCF stowage inserts. Private clients particularly are requesting bolder textures on the final items. We’ve seen crystal and glassware stowage systems leave the facility with a hammered finish and darker plating than normal. Palettes are led by light to charcoal greys and the textures are subtle but visible. Some almost emulate the look of carbon fiber; it looks very cool. While the private clients are becoming bolder, the corporate fleets tend to be staying with more subtle colors, but we’ve seen a shift toward the gray color spectrum.
What cabin technologies are growing in popularity?
Up-lit glass racks were launched by MSB in 2017 and are already proving popular as they add another source of light to the cabin. We have been developing these and as we receive more requests we have developed a means of making the lights brighter or subtler depending on the client’s request. Mood lighting and ambience play an increasing part in the passenger experience. This LED lighting adds elegance to the galley, an area which is rarely the key focus of design beyond functionality.
What new technologies need to be developed for aviation next?
MSB has been working on tables that charge phones just by placing them on a specific area of the surface. The table surface is smooth and uninterrupted but a key feature, for example a whorl in a grain, or a specific piece of pattern, indicates where to place the item to be charged. With the call for switchless aircraft we anticipate we will see more systems integrated into the principal monuments.
Addressing space utilization has also become key for us and we are currently researching solutions for maximizing the limited space on board an aircraft to accommodate the increasing number of personal items that passenger carry with them, whether electronic handheld portable devices, or other high-value items such as watches and luggage. We want to help our customers to be able to use every part of their aircraft, whether it is through subtle design on sideledges, or maximizing pockets of space found throughout the aircraft.