The business value of design.

Collins Aerospace | Essence Inserts Collection

Category

  • Aviation & Airlines

Expertise

  • 3D Data Development
  • Appearance Mockups
  • Design Visualization & Storytelling
  • Documentation & Specification
  • Mechanical Design & Engineering
  • Prototyping & Simulation
  • User Interface Design

Committed to delivering the best products to their airline customers, Collins Aerospace partnered with Teague to reimagine the airplane galley—aiming to create a first-of-its-kind collection of products that functioned as one advanced, integrated system.

CHALLENGE

Time for change.

Since the introduction of the modern airplane galley in the late 1960s, monuments have seen little change. In 2010, backed by new industry developments, technologies, and emergent trends, B/E Aerospace (now Collins Aerospace) made a bold move to redefine the galley space. Already a leading manufacturer of aircraft passenger cabin interior products, they set their sights on embracing innovation to improve the crew experience, lower airlines cost of ownership, and maintain category leadership.

Airplane galley full of different branded products

APPROACH

Challenging the status quo.

The team began with an extensive research activity involving strategic customers to solicit inputs on design concepts, functionality and advanced technologies, and to further understand user behavior. Researching competitive products, the design team made a key observation—during the past four decades no manufacturer had developed a common design language across the inserts platform, meaning every product had a different design aesthetic and user interface, resulting in an inconsistent user experience, made worse by cluttered, multi-brand interactions. Armed with the knowledge gained through research, the team began to explore shape, colors, materials and finishes that led to a distinct design language that diverged from the technical aesthetic that previously dominated the inserts category.

The new design language, leaning toward organic forms and clean lines, inspired modern design details that would become distinct to the brand. Creating full scale, functional models brought the Essence product line to life in a real world environment for testing and validation, ultimately leading the team to a solution that not only met the design requirements and program objectives, but also challenged the thinking common to the category by proving viable possibilities outside the familiar.

SOLUTION

Setting a new standard.

Designed to work alone or as a cost-effective integrated system, the collection brings a new level of comfort and ease of use to the galley with an innovative user interface and plug-and-play accessibility.

The core principles of the design language—a highly intuitive and refined user experience and a neutral color palette in combination with an ergonomically friendly rotary latch that uniquely couples first and secondary latching—help define and ensure a distinct, constant, and consistent quality of brand expressions across all experience touch points. A distinctive palette of color and materials were selected to support a minimalist look and feel, communicating a message of understated elegance unique to the Essence product line.

Essence’s intuitive interface synchronizes with button iconography and layout; a high contrast screen makes for easy use and touch interaction zones. Menus can also be pre-programed on the fly with simple input commands to maximize efficiencies.

Consisting of ten individual products, the Essence Inserts Collection embodies advanced technologies and innovative features that set a new industry standard for functionality, reliability, quality, and value that results in the lowest cost of ownership available on the market.

Result

Market domination.

Currently there are more than 20,000 Essence inserts in service, including 95% of all inserts on the Airbus A350. In 2012, the original Essence Inserts Collection was honored with product design and design strategy awards from Spark, Good Design, I.D.E.A and the iF International Forum. Today our team continues to advance the product line in collaboration with Collins Aerospace.