Railway Interiors International "Annual Showcase 2022": The shape of things to come
Here we share the interview given by Diego García, Industrial Designer at Mormedi to Izzy Kington for the Annual Showcase 2022 from Railway Interiors International Magazine. Diego has been part of the team that developed HyperloopTT cargo transportation system, as well as our different projects for Alstom, Quantron and many other mobility initiatives.
Have any material innovations or trends caught your attention recently?
There is a general trend where the user wants to perceive sustainability. Brands from other sectors, such as Nike or Smile Plastics, show the recycled raw material in their products, creating a kind of irregularity that is very attractive to the public.
There is a clear trend towards the use of more sustainable materials in train interiors, considering the whole lifecycle, including where materials come from and how they will be recycled. For seat upholstery and other textile elements, we’re seeing the use of fabrics and felts made from recycled PET.
Bio-based materials are being developed as vegan substitutes for animal leather – for example made from mycelium, coconut or sugar cane fibres. Natural fibres or composites made from coffee grounds or recycled paper can be used for single-use amenities such as food trays and packaging.
Are there any technological trends you’d like to highlight?
Passengers are surrounded by technology and expect to be able to continue their daily digital experiences during their trip. There is also an opportunity to modernise and digitalise parts of the onboard experience, for example incorporating real-time wayfinding information into signage, and food pre-ordering capabilities.
Thinking further ahead we can imagine AR experiences that enable positive and useful communication with the user, for example regarding the train’s sustainability credentials, onboard materials, or historical or geographical information about places along the route.
Have you seen a change in design priorities of late?bold text
There has been an innovative push in aircraft design over the past 20 years, due to liberalisation and increased competition. The same will happen in rail, so we should see a lot of change and innovation over the next five to 10 years.
Key drivers for new design approaches include requirements for accessible travel for all passenger typologies; sustainability; more personalised offerings for specific passenger needs; and increased integration of digital and physical experiences.
Are there any other trends you’d like to highlight?
The industry should take advantage of new EU regulations that will favour the use of the train over aircraft and cars. Trains should adapt to meet the needs of current travellers and integrate solutions that are already standard for other means of transport.
An emerging and attractive niche market is luxury trains. This is a new world to be explored, applying new solutions and technologies to renew this small and traditional sector, creating aspirational products that improve the image of the brand and operator.