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Work while you commute

Press release   •   Jun 18, 2013 00:00 BST

An ‘office on rails’ for business class passengers has been designed by a Northumbria University student.

Lewis Cunningham-Robinson, a final year Design for Industry student, has created cutting-edge train carriage compartments that enable passengers to work and hold business meetings while they travel between destinations.

Following research on a national UK train company to help define his design brief, Lewis has produced ‘Business-First’ – a range of work-friendly features specifically designed for business passengers, including individual computer workstation cubicles, micro-boardrooms, suit and coat hangers, and an increase in communal luggage space.

The design aims to respond to the environmental impact of business air travel by creating a workable rail alternative so that the disadvantage of the slower train travelling time will be mitigated by the ability of passengers to work effectively throughout their longer journey.

Business-First – which boasts the slogan, ‘Why waste a day travelling when you can achieve time travel with Business-First?’ – was designed to fulfill the brief to entice more businesses to choose rail for their future travel needs.

Lewis, 22, from Ferryhill in County Durham, said: “Recent studies have shown that nine out of 10 businesses opt towards air travel over rail and, while emissions from air travel are significantly higher than those of rail, environmental concerns alone are yet to convince many businesses to change their travel habits.

“To offer a viable alternative, the rail environment must be developed to offer clear advantages when seeking to maximise productivity during a journey rather than solely focusing on the reduction of travel times.

“Business-First provides a newly developed carriage interior designed to cater for the unique needs of the worker on the go.”

Lewis’s designs will be on display, alongside those of fellow final year Design students, at the REVEAL: Design show from June 20. One of the North East’s most anticipated cultural events, REVEAL: Design is respected by many industry professionals and sees hundreds of visitors pass through its doors each year.

This year, the show is part of the wider Festival of the North East and will run alongside the University’s REVEAL: Arts and REVEAL: Media shows.

Renowned for producing the best new designers Northumbria Design has alumni working for River Island, Abercrombie and Fitch, Apple, Mars, Habitat, Phillips, BBC and Nokia to name a few.

Work will be on show from across the Design programmes, including Fashion, Graphic Design, Motion Graphics, Animation, Design for Industry and Transportation Design. Also on show will be a selection of work from postgraduate courses; MA Design, MA Design Management, MA Design Professional Practice, and MA/MSc Multidisciplinary Design Innovation.

REVEAL: Design will be exhibited at Northumbria University Design, Newcastle, every weekday between 20-27 June. Entry is free for members of the public and doors will be open from 10am to 4pm.The work of selected Northumbria Design graduates will also be show at New Designers, London, in July. New Designers sees over 3,000 of the most talented, newly graduated designers showcasing the future of design and creativity. The event runs from 3-6 July.

Alumni from Design for Industry, Transportation Design and 3Dimensional Design are invited to attend a networking event organised by staff and graduating student following the New Designers Private View on 3 July at the Metal Works, Angel, Islington. Anyone interested in attending should contact

Date posted: June 18, 2013

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