Innovation Sighting: Subtraction in Commercial Aircraft Cabins

by Drew Boyd

Innovation Sighting: Subtraction in Commercial Aircraft CabinsCan you imagine flying in a plane without windows? A design team from Technicon Design in Paris created an interior that displays 360-degree views that are simulated on internal screens from external cameras that capture the surrounding environment in real time. The images displayed in the interior cabin—including the walls and even the ceiling—give passengers the feeling of flying through the air in an invisible vessel.

It’s an excellent example of the Subtraction Technique, one of five techniques in Systematic Inventive Thinking.

As reported on Fox News:

For business minded clientele, the screens can also be used for video conferences. Or if you’re in the mood for a some entertainment, kick back and relax with a state of the art in flight movie. For claustrophobic passengers, the screens can also be used to project relaxing landscapes like a tropical beach. Technicon Design created the design for a National Business Aviation Association and has since won an award at the International Yacht & Aviation Awards in the exterior design category.

“I challenged the team to break out of conventional thinking with regards to a business jet exterior and interior,” Gareth Davies, design director at Technicon Design’s studio near Paris, told the Daily Mail. “We quickly settled on the controversial yet interesting idea of removing the windows from the cabin and using existing or very near future technology to display the exterior environment on flexible screens.”

See video here

To get the most out of the Subtraction technique, you follow five basic steps:

1. List the product’s or service’s internal components.

2. Select an essential component and imagine removing it. There are two ways: a. Full Subtraction. The entire component is removed. b. Partial Subtraction. Take one of the features or functions of the component away or diminish it in some way.

3. Visualize the resulting concept (no matter how strange it seems).

4. What are the potential benefits, markets, and values? Who would want this new product or service, and why would they find it valuable? If you are trying to solve a specific problem, how can it help address that particular challenge? After you’ve considered the concept “as is” (without that essential component), try replacing the function with something from the Closed World (but not with the original component). You can replace the component with either an internal or external component. What are the potential benefits, markets, and values of the revised concept?

5. If you decide that this new product or service is valuable, then ask: Is it feasible? Can you actually create these new products? Perform these new services? Why or why not? Is there any way to refine or adapt the idea to make it more viable?

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Drew Boyd is co-author of “Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results.” Follow him at insidetheboxinnovation.com and at @DrewBoyd/drewboyd

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