With an extraordinary two years of pandemic life leading to an altering of consumer tastes and attitudes, cabin designers have had a lot to think about as they work to help the aviation surge towards recovery. One such design team, a group of experts at Sekisui Kydex, including design director Karyn McAlphin, senior graphic artist Becky Gallup, and graphic artist Amy Shetler, have been busy during this period, designing a new Infused Imaging Technology collection for 2022, with patterns and imagery envisioned to meet post-pandemic customer tastes.
Infused Imaging is a proprietary process that embeds imagery into Kydex Thermoplastics, giving designers a tool to create bespoke cabin environments using colour, images and visual texture. And because imagery is embedded into the thermoplastic, not on it, even a deep scratch will just reveal more of the same pattern, reducing the need for cosmetic repairs.
This durable material won Sekisui Kydex a Crystal Cabin Award in 2016, and it is proving itself in service. For 2022 the design team have proposed new designs (though customers can co-design their own), to reflect changing tastes following a time of chaos and stress. Emerging from the pandemic, colours are trending warmer, more comforting, and earth-toned, based on the desire to get back to nature. While still relatively neutral, the new Infused Imaging collection embraces this trend after years of cooler greys in aviation, influenced by elements including geometric patterns, solid surfaces, woodgrains and textiles.
The collection offers four geometric patterns: Veil, Geo, Carbon Fiber, and Marrakesh. They range from small-scale design to bolder, more colourful statement pieces.
Veil is designed to look like a solid colour, with further visual appeal when viewed close-up. The design is best suited to seat shells and suite interiors.
The Carbon Fiber pattern gives a realistic technical look, while Marrakesh showcases rich, contemporary looks for branded accent pieces.
Inspired by hard but inviting elements, the team chose four solid surfaces: White Quartzite, Green Slate, Industrial, and Terrazzo, to illustrate the range of Infused Imaging. While perfectly flat, Green Slate provides the dimensional appearance of a textured stone, while Industrial features a modern look perfect for consoles and tray tables.
The rest of the collection features woodgrains, Scandi, Zebrawood, and Brushed Oak, with a washed, minimal appearance in blond, variegated, and charcoal grains. The Zebrawood design, created by Becky Gallup, is a standout choice with its eye-tricking faux texture.
Textiles continue to be popular choices for softening the hard appearance of aircraft interiors, and Interlock and Vintage deliver the durability and cleanability of Kydex Thermoplastics in areas where actual fabric or leather might not withstand the rigours of passenger traffic in the cabin. Motif and Tranquil wrap up the collection with stippled and graduated designs that effortlessly straddle different categories.
“Created by Shetler, Motif is unique because it isn’t mimicking something else. It’s a blend of bespeckled woodgrain and textile effects, combined with pearlescence,” says design director, Karyn McAlphin.