Gilmore Group designed 3 geo-cultural concepts (North American, European, Asia/China) as well as a futuristic concept for Aerion’s AS2 supersonic business jet. The idea was to bridge the gap that exists between what customers will spend for a new Aerion Supersonic Business Jet and the experience they will receive, the interior design needs to accommodate their wishes. Their first step was to micro-target high net worth Individuals in discrete geographic areas, understand their desires, and translate the findings into strategic concepts. Gilmore Group’s research team drove the process by creating inspirational image boards of the transportation industry’s elite, and identifying culturally specific iconography, colour palettes, and materials that would direct the materials and finishes selection. The design team built on this by developing ultra-high- end designs to meet the desires of their geo-market customers. The images that can be seen here are examples of the concept that Gilmore Group completed for the Asia/China market.For the North American market, the designers landed on a ‘conventional’ design with conservative styling. The Asia/China market concept was ‘high-touch’ and sported many culturally derived design aspects. The Gilmore Group’s work for the European/Russian geo-cultural market embodied a modern take on ‘high-tech.’ The ‘Future World’ concept shows a world in which technology is ubiquitously integrated into the environment and advanced fabrication materials are utilized. After developing the designs, the larger hurdle is to implement them into the aircraft given the small manufacturing runs (as required by their micro-targeting). This can be done viably using today’s technology and rethinking the production process. The use of solid modelling, 3D printing, and CNC machining will allow for limited production fabrication of all ‘touch’ surfaces and features. These will then be seamlessly integrated onto the FAA approved structures and allow for the true customisation while still maintaining production feasibility. Meeting structural & FAA regulations would not represent an issue, as all structural engineering would remain a constant in the 3 geo-market designs (the “Future World” concept would be a bit outside this thinking).
In other words, the personalisation of business jet interiors goes beyond being purely surface-cosmetic. This is the difference between selecting the seat fabrics and having completely redesigned seats, offering much more power of choice to the customer. The group’s favourite aspect of designing the interiors was the early concept phase, in which they explored all the materials, finishes, colours, and textures that would be suited for each geo-cultural design. The Gilmore Group successfully embodied each geo-cultural market and catered to different tastes in the design of each concept interior. The 3 geo-cultural concepts represent a future where limited production fabrication technologies will allow higher degrees of personalisation. Technologies such as: CNC, 3D printing and stereo lithography are all readily available today but not necessarily widely adapted. The Gilmore Group’s concepts cater towards consumers who expect more personalisation than ever before. Fabrication of custom interiors like theirs is made viable by these technologies. By adapting limited production fabrication methods, the private aviation industry may shift away from mass-manufacturing, and can redefine what ‘custom’ means for jet owners.