A closer look at AERIA In­te­ri­ors

It all be­gins with a con­ver­sa­tion. Un­der­stand­ing and en­gag­ing with clients’ vi­sions of their pri­vate air­craft in­te­ri­ors is a sig­nif­i­cant part of suc­cess­ful de­sign and de­liv­ery – which strongly un­der­lines AERIA Lux­ury In­te­ri­ors’ phi­los­o­phy.

Jetgala - - CONTENTS -

AERIA was set up in 2012 as ST Aero­space’s VIP com­ple­tion and mod­i­fi­ca­tion arm and has since been pro­vid­ing so­lu­tions for Boe­ing and Air­bus cor­po­rate jets. ST Aero­space is one of the world’s lead­ing main­te­nance, re­pair and over­haul so­lu­tions providers. Since 2015, AERIA has de­liv­ered two Boe­ing VIP in­te­rior com­ple­tions, with a third com­ple­tions pro­ject in progress. “At the present time, our han­gar is full with sev­eral main­te­nance pro­jects un­der­go­ing heavy C-checks, in­clud­ing a B737 slated to re­ceive a full cabin re­fur­bish­ment. Re­cently, we de­liv­ered two Boe­ing Busi­ness Jets with newly in­stalled Honey­well MCS 8000 Ka band com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems,” says Ron Soret, AERIA’s pres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager.

Dis­cov­er­ing pref­er­ences

Ev­ery client and ev­ery pro­ject dif­fers: while some clients have a clear vi­sion of how they want their in­te­ri­ors to look like, oth­ers are less sure, ac­cord­ing to direc­tor of de­sign Ken Har­vey. A com­mon de­sign ap­proach may also pro­duce dif­fer­ent but dis­tinct styles. “We try and meet with the cus­tomer for pre­lim­i­nary de­sign re­views as early in the process as pos­si­ble. We’ve learned that it’s im­por­tant to be­gin show­ing con­cep­tual sketches and ma­te­rial sam­ples early, be­cause the con­ver­sa­tion only re­ally be­gins when there are de­sign ideas to dis­cuss,” Har­vey says.

A Boe­ing Busi­ness Jet in­te­rior for a re­cent Euro­pean cus­tomer fea­tured a clas­sic and or­na­men­tal aes­thetic. Largescale 3D print­ing and de­sign soft­ware were used to pro­duce the in­te­rior’s com­plex and curv­ing forms, pre­cise trim de­tails for switch panel and con­trol in­te­gra­tion, as well as in­tri­cate de­tails of seat up­hol­stery. The 3D printer was also able to achieve lighter weight and helped com­ply with flamma­bil­ity reg­u­la­tions.

A nose-to-tail B777 pro­ject for an ac­tive fam­ily fea­tured sleek forms, ex­otic fin­ishes, mul­ti­ple pri­vate bed­room suites with VIP lava­to­ries, and an ex­pan­sive open-plan fam­ily lounge and din­ing area. The in­te­rior also fea­tured semi-trans­par­ent white stains over lin­ear-grained ve­neers, Ti­betan silk car­pets and cus­tomised float­ing ceil­ing light fix­tures. The floorto-ceil­ing bulk­head with swirled-resin ac­cent pan­els was de­signed by famed artist Alex Turco. This pro­ject was ren­dered by work­ing closely with the clients’ long­time res­i­den­tial de­signer to help adapt per­sonal styles to avi­a­tion ma­te­ri­als and reg­u­la­tions. The elab­o­rate in­te­rior was fur­ther per­son­alised by col­lab­o­rat­ing with the client’s at­ten­dant staff on gal­ley in­stal­la­tions.

What cus­tomers want

Some pop­u­lar el­e­ments that cus­tomers find im­por­tant in­clude di­vans and seats as these form di­rect cus­tomer in­ter­ac­tion,

es­pe­cially dur­ing long flights; bal­ance be­tween dec­o­ra­tive el­e­ments such as colour and ma­te­rial; bath­room fix­tures and sur­faces, as well as light­ing and floor­ing. Af­ter dis­cussing lay­out and con­cep­tual ideas with clients, AERIA de­vel­ops ma­te­ri­als, sam­ples, draw­ings and spec­i­fi­ca­tions for the cus­tomer’s re­view. The de­sign team works closely with en­gi­neers on in­ter­ac­tive sys­tems in­clud­ing cabin man­age­ment, light­ing and en­ter­tain­ment. The de­sign­ers also work with out­side ven­dors and in-house pro­duc­tion de­part­ments on fit­tings, fix­tures, up­hol­stery as well as decor rang­ing from floor­ing to sil­ver­ware and linens. A crit­i­cal area of work is con­cen­trated on pro­vid­ing de­sign so­lu­tions for is­sues that arise be­tween en­gi­neer­ing, pro­duc­tion and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion groups.

Some fea­tures that clients are able to en­joy in­clude cus­tom-sized and shaped OLED video screens to al­low ul­tra-high def­i­ni­tion im­ages for use as art­work and dec­o­ra­tive ac­cents; on-board vir­tual re­al­ity in en­ter­tain­ment and ed­u­ca­tion; avi­a­tion-adapted fit­ness de­vices like weight ma­chines and tread­mills; cer­ti­fied full­body mas­sage chairs, as well as ad­vanced sleep­ing so­lu­tions.

It is be­com­ing ap­par­ent that tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments are grad­u­ally paving new paths for air­craft in­te­rior de­sign, such as: com­put­erised ren­der­ings, video an­i­ma­tion, vir­tual and aug­mented re­al­ity. Im­me­di­ate, re­al­is­tic and more ac­cu­rate mock-ups and im­pres­sions of de­sign are now more com­mon, vis­i­ble and ac­ces­si­ble for cus­tomers. “While these ca­pa­bil­i­ties greatly en­hance the cus­tomer’s abil­ity to truly en­vi­sion their fi­nal in­te­rior, pro­duc­tion in these high­res­o­lu­tion medi­ums re­quires that de­tailed de­ci­sions must be made very early in the de­sign process in or­der to be in­cluded in the ren­der­ings,” Har­vey ex­plains. “The over­rid­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic of one-off VIP in­te­ri­ors has al­ways been the fact that we ‘de­liver the pro­to­type’. R&D ac­tiv­i­ties by def­i­ni­tion are ac­com­plished on the ac­tual de­liv­ered item, re­quir­ing that they oc­cur as in in­te­gral part of the con­cep­tual de­sign process, mak­ing the com­plete­ness of the early de­sign con­cepts crit­i­cal for pro­ject suc­cess.”

To suc­cess­fully ren­der a “lux­ury of ex­pe­ri­ence” (AERIA’s motto), Har­vey says that the ex­pe­ri­ence that pro­vides tech­ni­cal knowl­edge and re­quire­ments for avi­a­tion pro­duc­tion and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, as well as the ex­pe­ri­ence that al­lows own­ers to de­velop trust in de­liv­er­ing right so­lu­tions are also im­por­tant. It also re­quires con­stantly en­gag­ing and ex­plor­ing cur­rent and new ideas, as well as en­cour­ag­ing and host­ing pre­sen­ta­tions by in­dus­try ven­dors. A timely de­sign phi­los­o­phy still falls on keep­ing the con­ver­sa­tion go­ing.

Im­ages cour­tesy of AERIA Lux­ury In­te­ri­ors

AERIA In­te­ri­ors’ motto is to pro­vide a “lux­ury of ex­pe­ri­ence” in their com­mis­sions for clients

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