World’s best aircraft interior designs awarded

CNN  — 

Self-cleaning lavatories that use ultraviolet light to kill 99.99% of all germs.

Head hammocks that offer more comfort for us poor suckers trying to get some sleep in economy-class.

Planes that do away with traditional seating to offer different zones for sleeping and hanging out.

These are just some of the forward-thinking designs singled out at the 2016 Crystal Cabin Awards, handed out in Hamburg, Germany on April 5.

The award is judged by a panel of 25 aircraft interiors experts and aims to promote and recognize cabin designs that can be “enhanced and implemented” in the future.

“Hardly any industry is as open for creativity as the aviation industry,” said Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates, during a speech at the awards.

“It is essential that we encourage and appropriately reward the experimentation with new materials, the questioning of established approaches, and the empathic adoption of a customer perspective.

“This is the only way we can continue to motivate the industry to think outside the box.”

Will these designs ever take flight?

Given many of the designs are works in progress, it might be a while – if ever – before we see them hit the skies.

Zodiac Aerospace’s Lifestyle Cabin design – winner of the Visionary Concepts award – is a radical re-imagining of cabin geography.

Ditching the traditional class system, the cabin is split into activity-specific areas, such as for lounging, sleeping and meeting.

Another winner, from the Delft University of Technology, uses hammock-inspired headrests with fold-out wings to provide more support and a comfier position for economy-class passengers’ heads.

But with most of today’s realized designs already pushing the frontiers of luxury air travel, these award winners may end up improving the experience of the millions of people flying each day.

For the full list of Crystal Cabin Award winners, see the above gallery.