Repose: An Economy Class Aircraft Cabin Designed For Sleep

Nyein Aung (Designer), Mark Armstrong (Designer), Arthur De Bono (Designer), Robbie Napper (Designer)

Research output: Non-textual formDesign / ArchitectureResearch


Research Background
Experiencing quality sleep on a long-haul flight can be difficult for passengers flying economy class. Often conditions conducive to sleeping well are afforded to those flying higher flight classes: an option beyond the financial reach of most travellers. Aiming to recognise quality sleep as a basic need of all, this research asked: what are the cabin environment conditions required for passengers to experience better quality sleep during long-haul flights and how can future economy class cabins be designed to better enable passengers to experience quality sleep?

Research Contribution
Repose is an aircraft cabin designed to enhance sleep for economy class passengers undertaking long-haul flights. The cabin design is unique: sleep enhancement solutions are designed into the aircraft cabin environment and architecture rather than just the seats. Offering lateral support through additional in-built resting cushions and side-leaning position options, Repose can be implemented without reducing aircraft seating and/or aisle width. In addition, the cabin environment design is sensitive to passenger needs by offering lighting that provides visibility but doesn’t disturb sleep hormones, a combined system of passive and active noise control technologies, and personalised temperature regulation vents above each passenger. Repose serves as a prototype; identifying and demonstrating opportunities for future aircraft cabin designers to develop designs that equalize sleeping conditions offered to aircraft travellers.

Research Significance
Design outcomes from Repose have been awarded five patents. The working model was acquired by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney and is part of the Powerhouse Museum’s permanent collection. Repose was awarded a 2021 Good Design Award in the Design Research Category and was a 2020 Finalist in the Student Design Category at the Victorian Premier's Design Awards.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUnited States Patent and Trademark Office
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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