When the martial arts school I was affiliated with began to expand, I learned something interesting about space usage. Let's say you could open a yoga studio, a martial arts academy or a gym in New York City. If membership fees and space rental rates were identical for each business, which would be the most profitable?
Answer: The yoga studio. Why? Because you can fit the most bodies into the space. A room that holds 20 yoga practitioners might hold just six tumbling grapplers and three fitness machines. MMA schools and gyms need to charge higher fees (or more "churn") to turn a profit.
This model mirrors the way airplanes are laid out. For yoga schools and Economy class to make cents, they need to hold as many bodies as possible. The fairly standard 30-by-72-inch yoga mats in rows give you a hard figure you can map to square footage, as do rows of cramped Economy seats. So I'm always interested to see concept work done with airplane seating—even if it rarely seems practical—because the church-pew seating model is such a difficult box to break out of.
UK-based recent ID grad Matthew Cleary has a proposal that might be better-suited to public parks than airplanes, but it's worth a gander nonetheless.
Fresh off a one-year internship at British aircraft interior firm AIM Aviation, Cleary has conceptualized a triangular airplane seat that seats three, and effectively scatters passengers around the plane in an unusual way.
Two of the seats are pivotable, allowing passengers traveling together (at least in twos) to get a little cozier.
The storage bins for luggage have been placed in the seating sides.
I'm not sure if two out of three passengers would cotton to the idea of facing backwards at an angle, but that's the least of the potential impracticalities of the design, and besides the point. The concept is meant to fall firmly in the thought-provoker category rather than the let's-get-this-to-market one.
Clearly recognizes his idea is not space-practical; it's targeted towards the burgeoning Premium Economy class, and air travel news website Terminal U points out that "Cleary... hopes to turn his idea into an industry talking point so that design elements may one day be taken and evolved in future premium economy cabins."