April 18, 2015: Those familiar with the classical Chinese masterpiece, Zhuangzi, one of the foundational texts of Daoism, will know that Xiao Yao You, the title of the first chapter, can be translated as ‘wandering beyond’. This notion forms the basis of Xiao Yao, Haeco Private Jet Solutions’ latest cabin design for the Boeing Business Jet 2 (BBJ2).
For those not familiar with Zhuangzi, it explores the philosophy that humans must free their imagination and ‘wander beyond’ the confines of what is familiar in order to achieve a greater understanding of, and one-ness with nature – the ‘Dao’ or ultimate state of spirituality. In modern Mandarin, the word xiaoyao has come to mean ‘at ease, leisurely, spontaneous’ and it has connotations of giving up the hustle and bustle of worldly existence for a leisurely life outside the city – perhaps in the natural setting of mountains.
This philosophy has been translated into the cabin environment by using Feng Shui principles in the LOPA (see below), replacing straight lines with an organic, free-flowing layout in which key living spaces are linked by a sinuous, meandering walkway that winds its way through the cabin. There is extensive use of natural timbers, and the color schemes are muted and restful.
Feng Shui, the Chinese metaphysical art of harmonizing people with their surrounding environment, has guided development of the design. Historically, Feng Shui was used to orient dwellings auspiciously in relation to their natural surroundings; the shape of the landscape, the flow of wind and water were analyzed to determine the site with ideal ‘qi’ or life-force. The Xiao Yao cabin has been designed to generate and retain maximum qi, with the various living areas within the cabin symbolizing different aspects of an ‘ideal’ landscape, with a gentle stream circulating between them. The design also incorporates the ‘Wu Xing’ – the five elements, condisting of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. According to Chinese astrology, every person has their own unique ‘Wu Xing’ profile and the basic cabin design can be tailored to the requirements of each customer by the use of different colors, shapes and materials.
Xiao Yao is a tranquil haven where busy travelers can refresh the soul. It offers a practical, uncluttered and fluid living space, with a range of options for business use or to relaxation. And while it incorporates elements of traditional Chinese design, it has a timeless, cross-cultural aesthetic that will appeal to most lovers of modernist style.
Above: The daybed area
The traditional tea area
Passengers can even relax at a mahjong table