On Saturday September 17th, Curtis Fentress and Michael McCoy presented Place®, their revolutionary new airport seating, at the Denver Art Museum. McCoy, a well-known industrial designer, and Fentress, an architect of public projects globally, took us through the early design process from concept to prototype to testing to manufacturing, and finally to marketing an airport seating system that has been embraced by the traveling public.
McCoy and Fentress are no strangers to airports. Fentress designed Denver International Airport, Incheon International Airport, and the new Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. McCoy has a history of designing airport seating with Colorado Seating for Artifort. The two designers teamed up to create Place after meeting at an Eero Saarinen lecture. Inspired by Saarinen and Charles Eames’ collaboration to design furniture, McCoy and Fentress decided to team up.
Curtis Fentress’ experience with airport design gives him a unique understanding of the market. Fentress noted that by 2050 there would be 16 billion trips flown annually, more than doubling today’s numbers. During the research process the group met with interior designers from Fentress Architects. Fueled by their experience and input, McCoy came up with the design and early sketches for the new seating.
Julian Fentress, Director of Product Development and New Business at Fentress Architects, presented how he worked with Michael and Curtis to refine the concepts, taking the idea from a sketch to a computer-generated 3D model and prototype. The team used a variety of prototypes for sizing including a 3D printed model, a full-scale adjustable prototype, and a steel prototype.
Dan Nussbaum, president of Arconas Corporation, presented the manufacturing perspective, sharing how they evaluated the idea when they first saw it, then how they marketed and sold the product. Dan noted Place was the most successful product launch Arconas has had. You’ll find Place airport seating at Denver International Airport, Orlando International Airport, and Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.