During Dutch Design Week, the Dutch national railway company NS showcased their outlook on the future. It involves the fusion of work, home, and transit on board the trains of the future.
Working part-time or freelance, without an office space, always traveling between meetings with a laptop or iPad while balancing family life and work without even thinking about the 9-to-5 itinerary of the past. This lifestyle is becoming a reality for many young people in cities worldwide and it’s calling for new types of spaces that fit new needs.
The Dutch national railway company NS has identified new demands of commuters that use their trains on a daily basis. It has presented its solutions to meet their customers needs in the future as work, transit, and private life blend together. The result is a stunning new train interior for intercity trains that connect The Netherlands’ major cities that allows passengers to make the most out of their time on board.
Together with Mecanoo and Gispen, NS conducted research into the needs of passengers. The proposed train interiors feature seating options that accommodate these needs, ranging from silent spaces for improved focus and people with laptops and iPads to social spaces where interaction is encouraged. There are foldable tables that are already featured trains that are found in The Netherlands today, as well as charging ports. However, new standing desks and longitudinal seating with high chairs along the windows are new. They are reminiscent more of a modern office or café interior than a train. Using a modular grid, the interior can be fitted in every type of train coach and can be easily altered.
Instead of long rows of double seats facing the same way with a single aisle in between, the train interior features different areas with distinct functionalities that suit different needs, like working on a laptop, reading, socializing, or relaxing. Tjalling Smit, of the board of directors at NS, says that “the train of the future will enable you to make the most out of your day, because you can work without being disturbed, for example. Travel time becomes work time. Or reading, chatting, or chilling time. The train will make it possible, the passenger decides”.
NS is tapping into a wider trend of multi-functional transit that aims to provide a flexible-interior-fits-all solution to accommodate different travel needs. San Francisco based transit company Leap tapped into the changing needs of commuters in the city with new buses that will “redesign your daily commute”. In the 21st century, busy urbanites want to make the most out of their time. Whether it’s working or relaxing, being able to take your shoes off and lay down and chat to friends or finishing that important presentation, it should all be possible while on the go.