What will planes look like in 2119? What will passengers sit on, what will they eat and how will they carry (or not) their luggage? To celebrate its 100th anniversary, British Airways, in collaboration with the Royal College of Art, presents some novel ideas in response to these questions.
Here you’ll find 3D-printed meals, based on each passenger’s exacting requirements; wearable seats which grow and move around the body; wall panels which produce electricity via the power of plants , and much more. Don’t expect to find things that are in development now, or things that are likely to be any time soon (or possibly ever) – this exhibition is about letting the imagination run free and throwing the rule book out the window. But that’s not to say that many of the themes and concepts included within each exhibit aren’t relevant. A focus on sustainability, as well as the prominent use of robotics, AI and 3D printing means that however wacky some of the ideas may seem, they are largely rooted in existing technology and based on existing concerns.
As is only fitting for an exhibition with an eye firmly on the future, the exhibition also features an immersive VR experience. Interactive and multi-sensory (think wafting smells, bursts of air and gentle movement), the experience, built by award-winning VR creators and an Oscar-winning practical effects team, traces humankind’s relationship with flight, allowing you to soar above-ground in the Wright Brother’s landmark creation and take the controls of a Concorde.
Anyone with a penchant for predicting the future will enjoy this exhibition, whether a frequent flyer or not. With its blend of design, construction and a little science, it presents an entirely new picture of what it could mean to fly. Best not to worry that it isn’t hugely concerned with scientific detail – this is all about vision. And who knows, perhaps one of these ideas will prove to be the start of something revolutionary.