In this video, take a look at an actual design project by transportation designer Cheryl Pelley, and see how she applied her materials knowledge to a high-end jet design.
- We're here with Cheryl Pelly, and Cheryl's going to show us one of her design projects. Cheryl, you did a great job with this book. This book is beautiful. - Thank you. - And you did a... This is really your creative process. - It is. - And it's kind of an end-to-end, and if you would, kind of walk us through some of this. I really... I'm dying to find out how you got to certain points of it. I'm going to jump to it, 'cause you had some money shots in there. I don't want a spoiler alert in here. But I noticed you kind of start out with this theme.
What is equinox, and what's the meaning behind this? - Well, it was actually a really fun project, because I got to define who the end user is. And so, I chose Boeing Business Jet, a 737-700, which is the length, and that gave me opportunities to really design an entire cabin from fore to aft exactly how I thought it should be to combine a new concept of enjoying work and pleasure in your business jet.
So, for those of us that feel that 19 passenger count is too many, this jet was designed to accommodate about seven. So you can have your own 737 with seven people. So I thought it would be very nice to explore the concept of more of a casual living, of more of a residential feel rather than transportation. So a concept came to me about reinventing golds to cool blues as far as a journey, because when you're flying somewhere, it is a journey from A to B.
So this book is about the Boeing Business Jet Equinox, and it's a journey from point A to point B, and let's take a look and explore it a little bit. - Yeah, I love this warmth you have going from warm to cool. It really, it really makes me want to be there for sure. - Very good. Me too. - I want to jump to some of your other inspirations here. So how important is lifestyle to you when you start out a project? - Well, it's very good. As you know, Scott, I have a diverse background in product design and architecture, and I know that the aviation industry tends to look more inward rather than outward towards trends.
There are a few companies that are starting to modernize what the offerings are, but I wanted to show a comparison of what's happening today in architecture and living and styles and preferences of this demographic. So, what you have here are seamless planes and bevels that go from the floor to the walls to the ceiling in one surface, and some other exciting aspects with materials as far as translucency and texture and matte and gloss. - And this next page is expanding on that a little bit.
Some of the things that we'd find in our other environments. - Yes, and if you're a true aviation enthusiast, you always say, red flag. So, part of the aspects that I have here is bringing the outside in, which is kind of a buzzword in the world of architecture right now. But in the aviation world, perhaps you bring your cloud into the interior. So you have cloud lamps, and also some more sculpture and perhaps chairs that are like the Womb Chair that are a little bit more inviting and a little bit less on the transportation side, but something that you might want in your own living room.
- I love it. And I see that you also carried the theme to the outside of the plane as well. - I did. A lot of the trends with the business jets is that the owner doesn't want to know who is on the inside. They don't want the public to know. So they tend to be a little bit more understated that the typical commercial stripes. So what we have here is some inspiration from golds and blues and just done in a way that has a little bit more of a sleekness in the modernity of the lines rather than a striping pattern, which you normally see.
- And then I see now we're looking at some of your early concepting illustrations. Can you walk us through some of the feelings and the ideas you have behind this? - Absolutely, and I think that's a pain point for a lot of color material and graphic designers now is how to visualize their ideas. So these were done very quickly by me in Illustrator just to get the concept across of where I wanted this project to go. What is the idea? So I sketched up an idea with a sunken living room, an intimate dining area with a lowered ceiling.
Here, I have chairs that are swivelable and more comfortable and are enclosed in a wood area so that it breaks up the length of the aircraft from fore to aft to smaller segments that you can enjoy your space in. From here, I go to the next phase, which is a little bit more of a refinement on the other areas. So the sunken living room here, perhaps there's an idea with a couch that's a sectional, which is new and fresh and innovative. But again, these sketches are very rough and taken further, but it's important to get your very first ideas down, because you can lose them very quickly.
- Yeah, I see you brought a lot of materials that we'd see in different types of applications I don't think any of us would have thought about in a transportation segment, but it's really refreshing. - Yes, the translucency is a big one because you want to be able to see down the entire aircraft, but you also want to have some aspect of privacy in the partitions. So the translucency is a big winner for that area. Here, this is an example, it's called a LOPA, and it's basically a site plan or floor plan of the entire aircraft.
You enter here, and you have a galley or the kitchen, which I made an open area, because everybody hangs out in the kitchen anyways, right, at a party, so why not in your personal aircraft? So we did develop this into a kitchen and has a seating area, because you know everybody would be here if they weren't in the entertainment area. And it follows through with the personal office and also more of a communal area with the couch and entertainment area and also a bar in this early concept.
The other idea you see emerging here is the contrast between warm and cool, which alludes to the balance of your work life and your home life. So there's a lot of layers here. - Yeah, I can see this. I can see it even in some of these other hard surface materials. You're still carrying it through. And what are you doing here? - Yes. Well, this is the beginning of working with the 3D rendering, because ultimately, in the back of your mind, you know that this needs to be developed in CAD to be presented to the client with the materials wrapped around the data.
So, it needs to be realistic. So this is my second go at taking the first concept and translating it into something a little bit more realistic that could pass the FAA Regulations. - Yeah, I can see you went into further detail on some of these materials. I mean, I can tell what they are now. I can start seeing the vision of what you're trying to bring materials into certain areas 'cause the detail's a lot tighter now. And I see you're getting even tighter again. - Yes, and at this point, when you're at this level of finalization, you probably have started gathering your materials from sources such as Pacific Design Center or other vendors that you have close relationships with.
So you're able to actually scan the materials in and lay them into the actual render themselves. It's not 3D at this point, but its still gives an overall feel of what the environment would look like. - So, at this point, we're still very conceptual. Things are still loose. You're still not bought into any specific... You're not bought into a material or a process just yet. Can you tell us, like, say, let's take your cool area, for example. So at this time, I'm assuming you're going to start getting a little bit more tangible right now.
How do you take from this illustration and start getting further down the line now? - Well, it's actually a very critical question that a lot of people don't think about ahead of time. But in this area, as you can see, the blue carpet is a large proportion of it. The carpet developments can take up to eight weeks just to produce the sample, so it's very important that you get this idea down and work with your supplier on developing that texture. Because ultimately, that supplier of the carpets will give the CAD data of the carpet, if it has dimension, meaning height of the pile, to the rendering facility that you're using.
So it is important to start developing these ideas as closely as possible to the end result. As well here with the cool, there wasn't a certified material done in the cool, so reaching out to other suppliers that could be certified was critical as well. But that takes time and some forethought into developing these ideas at this stage. - So, at this point, even though it's an illustration, you did start reaching out to your material suppliers. - Absolutely. - Because those long-term material sources were going to take several weeks, maybe months. - Yes.
In this particular case, what started out as more of a conceptual idea actually went all the way to being certifiable, fully certifiable, which is a pretty large statement, especially for an idea that is as broad and wildly conceptual as this one started with. So, the materials that ended up being specified are all true to regulatory regulations. - And when you started, I'm assuming, 'cause I mean, you really simplified it into just a few blues, but I'm assuming the color palette of blues that you started out with was pretty ginormous.
How do you down-select from all the things that were available to you to just the few that you show here? - Well, when you start entering into an actual color such as a blue, there's such a wide variety of blues. There's purple blues, green blues, gray blues, turquoise blues. So you really have to narrow down the palette of what your blue is actually going to be, and you have to think about, is it going to work in the environment? Is it sophisticated enough to work in a plane like this? Does it complement the other colors that are in the environment in the front of the plane? Could they work together? Yeah, with your carpet supplier...
In this case, I work very closely with Scott Group. And you want to take a look at the fibers that are in the carpet, because that does affect the feel on the feet and the overall appearance, if it's shiny, if it's rough. So, what's nice about business aircraft is that the closer you are to nature with your fibers, the better chance it is that it will pass regulations. So what's good for the FAA is also good for the environment and also it's also very premium. So a lot of our carpets that we've developed here have been using silks and wools and even alpaca.
So it's very premium. The materials that are used for some of the hardscapes typically are veneers, but they're all real wood, and you can finish them in different levels of finish if it's matte, or gloss, or a combination of both. You can stain. The other really interesting material that we've introduced in the blue area is leather-covered floor tiles and also leather-covered walls tiles. So this is, this is a big innovation, and Studio Arts, one of the suppliers that I'm working with that you'll see in the further lavatory area that they're able to wrap leather around wall tiles.
It's very exciting. And the floor area here is also done in a new product, which is a wood floor, and they're also providing stone floors, which can be heated. So these are the types of materials that are very haptic to the individual living in this environment for their eight hours. So, one of the critical aspects of this phase in the project is really looking at your material boards and down-selecting and seeing how everything is going to be working together.
So at this point, I may actually shop for accessories, stemware and other tableware, and see how it harmonizes with the entire environment. And there's just no way around seeing how that looks unless it's all together. The boards that you'll see here are actually quite large. They're three feet by three feet, which is not normal. But when you're in an environment that is seven and a half feet tall by the length of the aircraft, you really need it to be larger to get a perspective on how it's going to look on a larger scale.
So the materials are down-selected to make sure they harmonize, and they also harmonize with the branding element of this jet, which is a more modern spin than what's traditional. - I love your process, because you said that you're bringing in the lifestyle into your mood board, which I think is really important. When I look here, I can actually see some of your samples here. What is this? This is something you did. - Well, this is quite wonderful.
With today's technology, you can actually laser cut your own perforation patterns in your seating. So I explored some different methods that are coming into aspect today. One of them is a very tight quilting, but it also makes a little bit more of a harder surface. So I wanted to see if I could soften that surface with some ventilation to help the heat and the cool aspects and give you more of a cushion. So these are samples that are about 12 inches by 12 inches, and they're made by a manufacturer Aristo. And they specialize in this methodology.
And it's really exciting to do a couple different styles. So this could be in, say, the club area. If you turn the page, you see an example of something that may be in the more office area. So that's a little bit softer. I also wanted to point out how you're able to change the perforation pattern here to work with your stitching pattern, and how the actual stitches line up exactly per hole to be 100%. It's little details like that that are quite noticeable in a plane of this caliber.
- Yeah, and I like how you're able to take a standard material like leather and make certain parts hard and certain areas soft, certain areas cool, and certain areas warm. - Yes. - And it's not just a beautiful design. It looks like you've got it all worked together, but it's also got form and function to it as well. I think that really worked out pretty good. So this is one of your other mood boards. - Yes. So, this TMF board here is actually three feet by three feet, which was developed for the warm side of the aircraft.
This is a completed board, and some of the pieces that you'll see here and in the development of the blue board is bringing in some of the hard surfaces. So you've got countertops, flooring, some accessories, some inlays. This one has gold as an accent, some special treatments, and other things that give it a little bit more of a sparkle, the finish. It's like the diamond on the ring. - And again, you've got your lifestyle brought into here as well. We don't see enough of that. - Yes. Dining's actually quite a large part of the private business jet experience. So it's pretty important to make sure that you have some of these aspects represented.
- And so we're still very conceptual at this point. And as I move forward here, this is still a concept, but this really looks like a highly-refined execution of your concept, and I can see that it all comes together with the photorealistic. - Yes, yes, you want to just dive into this, don't you? This beautiful image is done by 3D Views in Miami, and we work very closely together. And the way that we make this happen is after the color material boards are completed and approved, I get duplicates of all the materials and send it to 'em FedEx.
They scan it in to make sure that each one of the fibers lines up so that they can tile these materials over all of the pieces of furniture as well as the gloss finish and the textures of all the hard surfaces. There's a lot of details in here that are very specific to the ultimate render. - So, I see there's quit a bit of things going on. I mean, I see the different seating. This looks a little bit more inviting for maybe a social area; this is a more private area.
Then I also see it looks like you've got these hard surfaces and soft, organic areas. What's going on with the design? - What we're doing here is breaking up the space so that there's more of an intimate, casual environment, more that you would have in your own personal living room. So you have an open kitchen to have a snack, have a drink, and then sit here and enjoy the window. That's a special window that's been developed that's extra wide so you have great views, a nice place to be casual. On this side, you have a little bit more of the business seating. And these are all certified seating for aircraft.
So it's a breakup of the different spaces. - One of the things I think is really important to talk about when we're talking about colors and materials is that you also designed a UI for this. - I did. - And so often, it looks like, when I see a UI within the product, like, a transportation product, it looked like they were designed by two different companies and two different people. How did the materials influence your UI? - Quite a bit, actually. The premise of this user interface was actually to make it quite user-friendly for everybody and very intuitive.
So, in this concept, I used the warm tones because you're in the warm tone of the aircraft, and this is the LOPA here. And if you were to take your finger, you could actually drag it over the area of the aircraft that you want it to be, and the color palette of the interface matches the area of where you're at, as does the controls for the certain area. Very intuitive. You could walk up to this, slide it to where you wanted, and it would all harmonize together. - I love it when something's holistic and carried throughout thoughtfully. And then here's our blue space, and you give us some area here.
- Yes. So this is an area of the aircraft where you want to relax. The blue tones tend to be more calming and relaxing. So, that was a natural for this area. And also the lifestyle, it talks about the type of linens and the surfaces that would go onto some of the walls, which are a little bit softer and more comfortable to relax in. - Well, there's a lot of things that you have in your book here. Thank you for sharing this project with us. This is a really detailed part of your process that you've done with this Equinox project.
Like I said earlier, I'll take two. - Okay, well, wonderful. Mine's in the workshop now, so you're after mine. Thank you for having me. - Yes, Cheryl, it's been a pleasure. Please, everybody, take a look at cherylpellydesign.com. She's got a lot of other things on there that influences her color materials background, her packaging background, how she applies materials. I think you'll find a lot of different resources. We just showed you one of her case studies. Please check it out, and see you later. - Thank you so much for having me.
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