All Nippon Airways (ANA) – Japan’s largest airline –unveiled the results of its long-standing partnership with Acumen Design Associates and internationally renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.
In preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics a number of B777-300ER aircraft will be completely transformed – with radical seating and cabin interior design. The five-year project has seen Acumen lead the redesign of ANA’s customer and brand experience, including the design of all the seating, galley entrance areas, social spaces and cabin interior design across all four cabin classes. ANA approached Acumen to bring a western perspective to the carriers design approach and customer experience. The design team worked closely with Kengo Kuma to combine the best of Eastern and Western design traditions and create a finished product that sets a new global standard by embracing Japanese heritage with an international outlook.
“Working alongside ANA and Kengo Kuma has been a tremendous honour. Together we have been able to effectively combine our experiences and use holistic design to transform the passenger experience – showcasing the wonders of Japanese culture to ANA customers around the world.”
Ian Dryburgh, Founder and CEO at Acumen Design Associates
THE Suite’ – First Class
The remodelled first class cabin represents the most significant upgrades ANA has made to its luxury offering for a decade. ‘THE Suite’ is the most spacious fully-enclosed seating ever seen on an ANA aircraft and features the world’s first 4K personal monitor on a commercial airline; at a staggering 43-inches it offers an unrivalled passenger entertainment experience. The seat transitions seamlessly into an expansive bed, and each seat features a movable partition, which can create a paired seating arrangement for couples or passengers who wish to socialise or dine together.
‘The Room’ – Business Class
At the heart of ANA’s new product investment is the new business class seat, known as ‘THE Room’, which has been designed to offer passengers more flexibility in how they fly. The bold forward and rearward layout offers passengers a step change in space and comfort and offers one of the worlds largest Business Class seating environments. Acumen has created a wide ‘sofa’ seat that is almost double the width of ANA’s previous Business Class offering. The large flatbed surface creates the ability for passengers to relax, lounge, and socialise in their own space like no other business class cabin.
‘THE Room’ also includes sliding doors and a separate sliding screen to the aisle to give passengers control over their own privacy – offering them the choice to socialise, dine together or spend time relaxing in comfort and enjoying the benefits of a 24-inch 4K monitor and discrete personal stowage options, which include a vanity mirror and charging ports for personal devices.
A Japanese inspired journey
To celebrate the rich culture and history of Japan, Acumen developed digital versions of traditional Japanese patterns to create a story through the seat cover upholstery – known as ‘The Journey’. The concept starts by capturing the pre-travel anticipation with a modern interpretation of clouds seen in traditional Japanese art pattern; followed by a tatami mat pattern which represents a Japanese welcome and an arrow design taken from the Yagasuri pattern to suggest movement and direction; the falling Sakura (cherry blossom) signifies your arrival in Japan and a time to celebrate life with family and friends. These non-repeating patterns mean each seat cover across the Premium Economy and Economy seats will be unique. The new seat designs in these classes also feature six-way adjustable headrests to improve passenger comfort.
To complement the radically enhanced seating areas, Acumen also created a new welcome experience for all ANA customers with an enhanced galley design – designed to be of similar style of a luxury Japanese hotel reception. Building on the Omotenashi philosophy of Japanese hospitality, the galleys now feature welcome monitors, enhanced lighting and decorative blinds to be used during boarding. The new look and feel of this area reflects Kengo Kuma’s architectural approach and incorporates natural colours and materials such as wood and basalt slate stone, while using back-lit panels that resemble traditional Japanese hand-made paper (known as ‘washi’).