3D Knit Modulo Aircraft Seat Concept Offers 1st Class Upgrade to Sustainabilty

For the vast majority of frequent fliers, traveling by air is associated with a litany of inconveniences and discomforts. We do it because we have to, not because we want to – all reflective of an industry maximizing efficiencies rather than amenities. But for those fortunate enough to travel by business or first class, those compromises aren’t left on the tarmac, with a Group 1 seat ticket promising elevated ergonomics, superior materials, thoughtful design, and entertaining technologies while in transit. Caon Design Office and Woolmark’s Modulo aircraft seat concept envisions an aesthetically efficient means permitting airlines to refresh their cabins on the fly – without the premium price tag – by weaving together comfort and practicality with modular design.

Modern stylish 3D woven textile covered airline cabin seat concept in green as viewed from the side.

Modulo’s organic curved form is reminiscent of Mario Bellini’s work for Olivetti.

Modern airplane cabin seat with personal entertainment screen, privacy features, and crafted from 3D woven textile for enhanced comfort.

Modern aircraft seat design for business class with privacy partitions and 3D woven textile.

In contrast to current products, which often rely on rigid composites or plastics for partitions and seats, Modulo utilizes wing-like woolen elements, thereby concentrating on a single material as the central theme of the design.

The Modulo aircraft seat design concept conceived by Caon Design Office and Woolmark is direct in delivering on the practical concerns related to air transportation – weight reduction, sustainability, and the need to address scheduled cabin refreshes. They’ve seemingly met these needs using a 3D-knitted wool blend membrane stretched over a framework of titanium, aluminum, and carbon fiber. In doing so, Caon’s Modulo retains a lightweight imprint upon the aircraft while also softening all of the touchpoint areas a passenger may experience from boarding, in-air, and on arrival.

Modern airplane cabin interior with a personal entertainment system and a sleek, ergonomic design, featuring 3D woven textile in the aircraft seat design.

Modern airline interior with a minimalist design, featuring 3D woven textile seats and a wooden dash control armrest.

Modulo’s design is smartly integrated with sensors and technology to elevate the comfort and safety of passengers. These devices actively monitor and regulate seat temperature for optimal comfort. Additionally, they prompt passengers to move periodically, with these features specifically aimed at mitigating health risks associated with prolonged immobility, such as deep vein thrombosis.

Caon partnered with Woolmark, citing the company’s Australian Merino Wool as the ideal material for its next-to-skin softness, strength, innate versatility, technical benefits, and 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable fiber.

Close-up of a plane seat with 3D woven textile and touch panel controls illuminated through the fabric.

“In exploring how to expand the capability of the wool fiber within the airline industry we address a major bugbear of airlines in that they have to spend huge sums of money and time in changing the feel of their cabin interiors,” notes David Caon. “Passengers benefit too by having more of this wonderful material, which breathes and allows us to play with light and opacity to create new scenarios for privacy and relaxation.”

Modern plane cabin seat storage under the feet section, partially opened, revealing additional areas where passengers can keep their belongings during the flight.

Conceptualized as a 3D-knit wrapped shell, Modulo’s wool blend structure is semi-transparent giving passengers a gentler transition from the open space of the plane into a private enclosure without feeling completely confined. In lieu of traditional foam, Modulo wool blend construction allows for wadding within specific sections of the fabric when a thicker, denser, and sound/vibration absorbing section is required.

A conceptual design of a modern, minimalist interior airline cabin seat within a compact, modular structure integrating 3D woven textile elements for enhanced comfort and aesthetics.

“By harnessing the benefits of Merino wool, such as breathability, moisture-wicking properties, and luxurious softness, Modulo demonstrates how Merino is uniquely positioned to elevate the future of travel through unparalleled comfort and enhanced sustainability,” says John Roberts, Managing Director, Woolmark.

Modern private airline seat cabin featuring a curved acoustic and privacy panels made with 3D knit wool in green and yellow textiles.

A modern airplane cabin interior with a single aircraft seat design and a foldable table featuring a closed laptop.

From a practical level, Modulo’s lightweight modular design allows airlines the ability to refresh their cabins with seasonal themes or updated branding initiatives without extended downtime. The entire seating install is built with a quick-release mechanism, and the wool membrane skin can be interchanged as effortlessly as a standard seat cover.

Premium cabin aircraft seat with privacy shell, woodgrain paneling, and integrated personal lighting.

Overhead render of a 3D woven textile design airline passenger cabin with privacy panels surrounding the lay flat seating.

Close up detail of the Modulo's modular seat cover, illustrating how easy it is to remove the seating system's wool knit cover.

Modern airline seat cabin surrounded by a 3D woven textile and perforated metal casing and stand.

Caon stresses the Modulo concept is not only applicable to air transportation, but also a seating solution adaptable to all means of of “mass transport, hyperloops, autonomous vehicles, and electric aircraft.” With its promise of significant weight reductions, improved sustainability, and a reduction of fuel consumption, 3D-knit textile membrane seating seems a first class idea with economy class efficiencies and a refreshingly modern aesthetic.

To learn about more creative solutions from Caon Design Office caondesignoffice.com.

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