At the Kagoshima Design Forum 2018, tangerine’s Creative Lead & Head of Japan Business, Yuichi Ishihara, joined Toshinori Kamiya, Director of Kamiya Design Office, and Hiroki Hakamada, Director of Acka Inc., to discuss the importance of design in improving the travel experience.
Titled ‘Satsuma Design Ishin,’ the event was promoted in Japan’s PR times. The aim of the event was to help the tourism and hospitality industry learn more about global design trends and how to utilise “design thinking” to remain competitive, against increasing competition from private housing and accommodation websites.
Ishihara explored the power that effective innovation, strategy and design can have in solving many of the contradictions the industry faces, such as the dichotomy between the quality of experience and price. “Only by creating innovative solutions, are designers able to balance the operational requirements of a business with the desire of consumers to have a positive customer experience”, explains Ishihara. tangerine’s portable hotel design for Snoozebox was used to demonstrate how design can influence consumer perceptions and create the illusion of space and quality.
“The hospitality industry is very turbulent at the moment”, says Ishihara, “to remain competitive differentiation is the key”. The question was asked, how can this be done efficiently? “Through the combination of innovation, design and strategy”, argues Ishihara, “this combination can help businesses to build experiences and develop the brand story, as British Airways did with the Club World seat”.
In 1998 when British Airways were looking for a new Business Class offer, tangerine started by looking at the space from a new perspective. By flying passengers forwards and backwards in the yin-yang format, tangerine was able to create a solution that preserved the same density of seats in the Business Class cabin, while providing a bed that laid fully-flat. The Club World seat landed in 2000 and was the first fully flat seat in Business Class in the world, it disrupted the industry and set a benchmark for the rest to follow. It struck the perfect balance between commercial aspirations and customer expectations. A win-win for business and consumer.
“Design is not just about making things look pretty, it can help you find the solution to balancing the contradictions, adapting new technologies and ultimately create the best experience for your customer”, argues Ishihara.
*Left to Right: Hiroki Hakamada, Yuichi Ishihara and Toshinori Kamiya
*Ishihara on how to improve hospitality and leisure experiences