News out this month claims the average UK commuter spends a year of their lives travelling to and from work and at an average cost of £50,000. That for most people means about an hour or so of public transport which from a service provider perspective means a captive customer, with strong brand loyalty and almost guaranteed repeat business!
The relationship between environment and user can make transport design one on the most difficult and challenging interior design disciplines. Implementing change can be a slow process with tried and tested solutions to accessibility, seating, luggage storage, lighting and flooring being repeated in an almost formulaic way across the worlds transport networks. For designers, that is the challenge of the transport sector. Being new looking isn’t enough, it also needs to perform better!
In the sphere of flooring that means balancing the challenge of aesthetics against a need for multi-point performance. Transport flooring often needs to be flame retardant, slip resistant, acoustic, waterproof, comfortable, hard-wearing, easy to clean and let’s not forget attractive. Even then there are constraints around establishing the appropriate visual contrast between surfaces whilst coordinating with the interior design scheme and branding of the operator.
For a floorcovering manufacturer the key is establishing flexibility in design across a wide range of high performance products. Whether the need is for train, bus or marine, Forbo Flooring offer a choice of standard designs and colours in line with industry trends, together with the option to create bespoke design solutions within many of our product platforms. This way, solutions to new transport flooring can be both new looking and better performing.
So next time you are commuting take a look at the floor and ask yourself whether it’s working as hard as you are!
Jason Holmes, Head of Design [Textiles]