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Aviation In the press
James Park Interview: Mercedes Benz Magazine
The 67-year-old Briton and his agency JPA Design fit out the interiors of aircraft airport lounges and luxury hotels. The Singapore Airlines business class cabin designed by Park was recently crowned the world’s best.
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The 67-year-old Briton and his agency JPA Design fit out the interiors of aircraft airport lounges and luxury hotels. The Singapore Airlines business class cabin designed by Park was recently crowned the world’s best.

Mr Park, what makes your business class seat so different?

We radically changed the design of business class seats and created one which, in contrast to the usual offerings, can be converted fully into a flat bed. We worked for nearly 20 years on the execution of the design.

You also design hotels and lounges so what’s the appeal of airline seats?

A good seat is what sets an airline apart. The more attractive and comfortable it is, the more at ease the people travelling in it will be. And it’s a challenge to have so little space to work with but ultimately come up with a solution that covers all the bases – not only design and space, but also safety and entertainment.

What’s the biggest challenge in designing for aircraft?

It’s all about offering travellers a special experience. The requirements of airlines have changed radically over the years: they want more technology, more entertainment, but also lower and lower costs. Flying used to be far more luxurious.

How do you create that exclusivity in a world which is getting less exclusive all the time?

Genuine exclusivity is not something you’ll find in most airlines nowadays, because first class is no longer a financially interesting proposition. In today’s world, people who can afford first class tend to prefer a private jet. Real innovations are therefore only found in business and economy class now. Here, flying is getting more and more affordable, but also more comfortable.

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