Design shapes experience – New Design Showcase 2024

UK design consultancy tangerine is shaping people’s experience of travel, leisure and hospitality

Bouncing back from a quieter period during the pandemic, internationally renowned design studio tangerine is flourishing with partnerships involving some of World’s most ambitious transport, infrastructure and construction projects.

Now entering its thirty-fifth year, the impact of tangerine’s design consulting can be felt further afield and as broadly than ever. Its nimble team of experienced, multidisciplinary designers are helping leading transport providers, manufacturers and construction engineering businesses to create products, services and experiences that are bringing tangible benefits to customers while also improving operations.

LOT Polish Airlines, Business Class

Maintaining its leading position in Aviation, tangerine’s cabin interior designs for Japan Airlines and LOT Polish Airlines were revealed in 2023. Both projects involved translating the unique qualities of airlines’ brands and drawing on cultural identity to create exceptional passenger experiences. For LOT this meant cabin interiors inspired by the Polish landscape. Vibrant, deep blues emanate perfectly from the LOT brand, while the addition of copper alludes to the warmth of the Polish sun. Whereas for JAL, it meant incorporating Japanese elements. Such as in First Class, where privacy doors feature beautifully crafted in latticework reminiscent of Ukiyoe artwork and traditional woodcraft.

Volkswagen Group China, Sky Garden eVTOL

At the forefront of New Mobility, tangerine partnered with two leading companies on opposite sides of the globe, helping turn pioneering technologies into manufacturable commercial products.

Building on its rich experience in China – collaborating with the likes of CRRC, the world’s largest rollingstock manufacturer, EV automaker Weimar Motors and Aircraft Manufacturer COMAC – tangerine won a competitive process to partner with Volkswagen Group China. The project entailed the design of its very electrically powered vertical take-off aircraft ‘V.MO’.

The German Design Award 2024 winning prototype was unveiled by Volkswagen and has already passed several important flight tests. The emission-free, fully electric and automated eVTOL could eventually carry four passengers plus luggage over a distance of up to 200km and is aimed initially at high-net worth Chinese customers.

Throughout the design process, tangerine worked very closely with the Volkswagen and Sunward to make the fuselage design aligned with manufacturing processes. The style, format, and layout of the eVTOL and its interior was influenced by insights from user research with over a hundred high-net-worth individuals in China. The progressive design language gives a foretaste of the future of private and individual mobility in the air.

“It’s truly exciting that V.MO is pushing beyond flashy concept designs to focus on the near delivery of working prototypes that are being tested in the air”, says tangerine Director Weiwei He.

Hyperloop TT Freight Express

In the US, tangerine is supporting Hyperloop TT in its mission to deliver its super-fast transportation system, involving pressurized capsules that levitate on a near-frictionless magnetic field within tubes.

Focusing on the commercially lucrative freight market, tangerine’s high-speed concept design is capable of loading and unloading freight onto Hyperloop TT capsules in 13.2 seconds.

The whole proposition for Hyperloop transport is that its “cheaper than air and faster than trucks”, says tangerine chief creative officer Matt Round. The speed element is not just about how fast the trains travel around countries but also about loading and unloading as fast as possible to make the whole service efficient, according to Round.

tangerine came up with a solution that involves up and over sliding doors, which utilises the rounded shape of the capsule and seeks to maximise the internal space. Staggered doors allow for a simultaneous, constant flow of loading and unloading of freight in the station.

Hyperloop TT is now moving into the next phase of development, securing £698.6 million to build the first commercial Hyperloop in Northern Italy to prove the prototype.

Al Areen, Bahrain

Following a successful partnership with the engineering construction group, Hassan Allam, to translate the architectural masterplan for the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Cairo into a user experience blueprint for the destination, tangerine won a partnership in 2023 with premium lifestyle development Al Areen, located in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Instead of tackling a single cultural attraction, tangerine was tasked with defining the overall vision and user experience blueprint

for residents and visitors across nearly 2 million square meters of mixed-use land. The site can accommodate 25,000 people, and comprises 16 major clusters including commercial offices, retail units, restaurants, hotels, health and education facilitates and a range of residential communities.

Using a range of service design tools including a cultural immersion, ethnography, user and stakeholder interviews, user journey mapping and user mode definition – a vision for Al Areen was created, ‘A wellbeing destination for families, immersed in nature and grounded in Bahraini culture’.

Four design key principles: Resilience, Wellbeing, Iconic and Sustainable would shape the refinement of the experience and the creation of a framework for the components of the destination. tangerine then gave colour to the fundamental experiences through artistic impressions of the look and feel and key experiential attributes.

“Great designers are passionate, empathic to users & stakeholders, problem solvers and have the skillset to bring ideas to life”, says Geraint Edwards, Chief Growth Officer at tangerine. “Across all our projects our team deftly research, strategise and design experiences that best fits a client’s users and their operation. Importantly, we then also have the expertise to help businesses to implement our designs effectively”.

Article published in the New Design Showcase 2024