In a refreshing change from the all-the-rage beige, gray and wood tones of private and business jet interiors, Airbus has collaborated with French graffiti artist Cyril Kongo to bring a pop of color to its latest ACJ aircraft. TwoTwenty, the bizav version of the Airbus A220, born Bombardier C Series.
With the hand painting of some of the main salon surfaces by Kongo, the idea is, to say the least, deliciously bonkers, and the most exciting thing to come by business aviation interiors in quite some time.
On tables, ceilings and monuments, replace the usual beige and off-white fabric-effect woods, graffiti motifs: white on black, camouflage in grayscale, and even a few touches of surprisingly bright colors.
Pleasantly, the effect goes beyond just having wacky throw pillows on a gray sofa, or adding a bright bed throw on the same bedding as another theme, though there are some, too. .
Airbus brings the brightly colored and angular paint effect sections in the side walls, on the table surfaces and even on the seat backs, making this a truly effective collaboration.
The aircraft manufacturer also unveiled renderings of three other everyday versions of the ACJ TwoTwenty cabin, named Quintessence, Timeless and Avant-garde.
They are, as you might expect, very greige and pedestrian. Playing the difference between Quintessence and Timeless is like the passenger experience equivalence of the famous business card scene in American psychopath where great importance is given to the specific shade of cream used for each of the card stock.
Timeless looks a bit more like China Airlines’ medium khaki wood finish, while Avant Garde wood is a darker brown and Quintessence a lighter beech, and that’s basically the difference between them. all.
And they’re very, very matchy-matchy, in a way that really seems to come from the Emirates mid-2000s school of “no burl walnut left behindâ.
Kongo design ethic aside, these other cabins seem a bit of a dud, especially for an aircraft of this size (big enough, after all, to accommodate 135 economy class passengers in commercial operations).
The rest of the day looks like slightly larger versions of a smaller business jet, right down to those usually thick convertible chairs of some shape and stature that are only ever seen in bizav and nowhere else. . Why not more luxury residential in nature?
We may not need to go as far as a Hopfer Sofa / Roche Bobois Mah Jong, but what about timeless inspirations like a Eames lounge chair?
Recent designs like David Adjaye’s Washington Prism, or classics like The eponymous modular system by Don Chadwick could also serve as inspiration.
Commercial airlines (Etihad’s residence and apartments come to mind) have managed to achieve a personalized, interesting, and residential appearance in their upscale cabins. So, it’s a bit of a shame that these examples of bizav cabins – where, arguably, there’s a lot more room to get creative outside of the five, six, eight, nine or ten seat requirement. ‘sharp for most space – no more thought-provoking.
We hope that the collaboration with Cyril Kongo will lead to more interesting opportunities.
All images credited to Airbus