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Staid aviation design varies very little between airlines, but is extremely different than the usual design project making this partnership one that both designer and client took a risk on.

Like any successful designer whose clients are in different countries, Hella Jongerius spends a lot of time on aircraft, and whenever she has flown anywhere recently, she has taken swatches of fabric to scrutinize after takeoff.

Specifically, Ms. Jongerius wanted to gauge how the changing quality of light at high altitudes would affect her perception of their colors, and to decide which variations of the original hues would achieve the desired effect up in the air.

The result of her research is the elegant palette of carefully chosen shades of blue, brown, gray, aubergine and white in the business-class cabins she has designed for KLM, the airline of the Netherlands, where she is from. Ms. Jongerius’s design scheme, which is to be unveiled Tuesday in an aircraft hanger near Amsterdam, will be introduced to KLM’s long haul Boeing 747-400 jets this summer.

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Tags: air france-klm, business class

Photo credit: KLM's new business class was designed by Dutch designer Hella Jongerius. KLM

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