Virtual Reality Qantas

How Qantas is using virtual reality to improve its design process

Feb 14, 2019
  • Article by Natalie Mortimer

Qantas has collaborated with industrial designer David Caon and Akin Atelier to design its new first class lounge in Singapore and used virtual reality (VR) to revolutionise the design process.

When Qantas wanted to design its new first class lounge in Singapore Changi Airport the airline turned to long time collaborator David Caon. As part of the design process the industrial designer and his team – who have previously designed a number of lounges for Qantas as well as the interior of the airline’s A380 cabins – created an immersive VR representation of the design concept, providing a better way for Qantas to preview and fine tune lounges.

A VR experience of the new First Lounge
A VR experience of the new First Lounge

Caon says using VR has revolutionised the design process between designer and client.

“Virtual reality brings the 2D drawings and photos to life, and for this project in particular, it has sped up the consultation process between our design team and Qantas,” he says.

For Alison Webster, CEO of Qantas, she says VR gives the airline a completely new way to make sure a lounge meets customer needs well before the build begins.

“While we already use VR technology to promote destinations, this is the first time we have used it to better understand a lounge design,” she says.

“Being able to immerse ourselves in a virtual lounge gives us a more accurate sense of space and an understanding of how it will look to scale. We know Qantas customers like to dine in the lounge to maximise sleep on-board, so the layout will offer generous and comfortable seating options, ideal for eating, working or relaxing.”

A VR experience of the new First Lounge

The new First Lounge has space for 240 customers and features a neutral colour palette, hi-end materials and leafy green highlights to make customers feel relaxed as soon as they enter the lounge.

Singapore First Lounge materials

“The interiors achieve a synergy with other Qantas First Lounges on the network, using key materials like marble and oak from the Sydney flagship lounge, combined with finishes reflecting the lively culture of Singapore,” explains Caon.

Reception area of First Lounge

“With a continued focus on wellness, we’ll be looking at including the latest advances in light technology, allowing passengers to better synchronise their body clocks with future time zones.”

Images courtesy of Qantas

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