Blackwood Design Awards 2015: POSTA- comfortable in-fight seat transfer

Continuing with our series on the Blackwood Design Awards 2015 here is another of our entries; the POSTA. For wheelchair users travelling by plane, there are countless complications caused by the fact that air travel has never really been designed with disabled passengers in mind. The POSTA is a well developed concept for passengers with limited mobility to transfer in and out of their seats in the aircraft.

The designer of POSTA, Peter Short, is a 24 year old Industrial Design Graduate from Melbourne, Australia and currently lives in Toronto, Canada. He has had a keen interest in interior aviation design throughout his study and his ambition is to work in the industry. He is currently a design intern at IPPINKA, a company based in Toronto.

The POSTA is a design that eliminates any lifting or strenuous physical work that can be seen with current methods. It uses a series of guide rails as a bridge that allows the passenger to slide onto their seat with ease on flights. In addition, the airline seat itself, features a modified seat base to allow the cushion to lock into place and secure the passenger into the seat.

To know more about POSTA, you can see further detail explanations in the video below:

Moreover, bespoken caught up with Peter to find out a little bit more about his design and the thoughts behind it…

Is there a story about POSTA? Why would you want to design a device that is about assisted seat transfer?

I decided to pursue POSTA - Seat Transfer Assist as my final year Honours project after witnessing a wheelchair bound passenger needing assistance to go to the onboard lavatory during a long haul international flight. The passenger had to be lifted by two or three flight attendants and then strapped into this specialised aisle chair with a great deal of effort and obvious embarrassment.

I could only imagine the struggle for the passenger not just for using the lavatory but also all the other aspects of air travel such as boarding, embarking etc.

I thought surely there needs to be an easier way for wheelchair users to travel by air. I used that experience as an opportunity to develop a solution during my final year at university.

As you mentioned that POSTA improves disabled air travel, what motivated you to design a device specifically for air travel?

I have always been interested in commercial aviation and after doing some research, I learnt that commercial aviation is one of the largest growing industries in the world. This motivated me to undertake the project as I thought surely this is a problem that needed to be fixed.

What challenges did you encounter during the design process?

A lot of the commercial aviation regulations had an impact on what I could do with the design. However I didn't want it to restrict me so much that I couldn't be creative with the project. Therefore part of the design and function is conceptual however a lot of it does follow the regulations.

What’s your current goal for this product? Is there any specific part that you are still working on to improve the product?

My current aim for the product is for it to gain exposure to the public as the problem itself, is growing within the aviation industry. Hopefully one day I will be able to develop it further and see the idea implemented in commercial aircraft in the future.

How would you describe POSTA in one sentence? Could you name three features that make POSTA special?

POSTA - Seat Transfer Assist, is a device that aids in the transfer of a reduced mobility passenger into their seat by eliminating any lifting or strenuous physical effort that can be seen with current methods used today.

Three features include

- The passenger can be transferred into their seat from the aisle.

- The passenger can be transferred from in front of their seat(backwards transfer).

- The device can be used in all classes including business and first class, given there is enough room in front of the seat.

What would winning the design award mean for you and your design?

Winning the 2015 Blackwood Design Award would help gain more public exposure to the device but more importantly, the problem of disabled air travel.

It would also increase the chance of the device to be further developed, which one day I would like to do.

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