Initiatives of theHamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft

Hamburg Aviation: The Circular Aircraft Cabin

How will we fly in 30 years?

Hamburg Aviation: The Circular Aircraft Cabin -

Aviation companies want to build a recyclable cabin

The cluster organisation Hamburg Aviation sent an interdisciplinary team to the Cross Innovation Lab Klima: experts from various specialist areas of Hamburg's aviation industry worked with creative minds and cradle-to-cradle consultants to develop a research concept for the production of recyclable aircraft cabins.

The challenge

In order to remain sustainable, aviation must reinvent itself and save CO2. Intensive research is already being conducted into new drive technologies and sustainable fuels to achieve this goal. In the Cross Innovation Hub, however, a new topic was considered - the aircraft cabin. The team asked itself how lightweight construction and high demands on materials can be combined with sustainability How do new, circular business models work?


Sustainable cabin production will require a variety of transformations in the coming years. A suitable production cycle system, a modular design that dispenses with composite materials, for example, and research into suitable materials - new solutions need to be found in a number of areas. The Cross Innovation Lab has taken a first step in this direction: Together with industrial designers Florian Hättich and Sebastian Mends-Cole, a new seat construction was designed, among other things.
The seat not only brings ergonomic benefits, but can also be returned 100% to the production cycle (C2C).
Initial analyses show a potential CO2 saving of almost 40 tonnes in the production of the seats for an A320 alone and a potential saving of over one tonne of CO2 on short-haul flights.
To underpin the relevance of the project, a future scenario for aviation in 2030 was developed, which underpins the transformation pressure in the industry with facts. Writer and storytelling expert Dr Claudia Rinke developed a strong narrative from this, which will now support the team in applying for research funding for the sustainable aircraft components.

Creative experts: Florian Hättich (Indeed Innovation), Sebastian Mends-Cole (BFGF Design Studios), Dr Claudia Rinke

People from the corporate side: André Herbst (Autoflug), Christian Keun (CompriseTec), Ann-Christin Krohn (C2C), Gaston Pukies (Capgemini engineering), Sandro Stefani (Ylipson), Karsten Wistuba (C2C), Florian Zager-Rode (Diehl)

"Green for organic was yesterday. The development of a new "grey" for recycled components is coming and it will be exciting to observe and support its development."

Sandro Stefani, Project Engineer, Ylipson GmbH

"In the Cross Innovation Lab, aviation companies not only met as a team for the first time in this constellation, but creative professionals and initiatives such as the C2C NGO also became partners on an equal footing, challenging and inspiring the companies in equal measure. Together for greener aviation - this innovation process has given our joint mission a real boost."

Julia Grosser, Marketing and Communications Manager, Hamburg Aviation e.V.

Format & method

In the Cross Innovation Lab, companies come together in changing constellations over a period of six weeks to work together on product developments in a stimulating environment. Experts from the creative industries are specifically involved in the process.

  • Field research: At the beginning, the challenges of the companies are analysed in a new kind of depth in collaboration with creative professionals - and their fresh perspective from the outside.
  • Workshop phase: In a total of four workshop/lab days, the companies develop new solutions together with selected creative professionals.
  • Feedback loops: Between the labs, a concept review takes place with all participating companies in order to further improve the products through joint feedback and exchange.

In the iterative work process, companies develop new products or product adaptations in a significantly reduced amount of time.

Our partners: Hamburg Aviation, CompriseTec, Capgemini Engineering, Ylipson, DIEHL Aviation, Cradle2Cradle, Autoflug

Hamburg Aviation

Hamburg Aviation is the aviation cluster of the Hamburg metropolitan region. It unites and networks more than 300 companies with a total of over 40,000 highly qualified employees. The companies united in the cluster cover the entire life cycle of an aircraft and its entire value chain.


CompriseTec is a technology company founded in 2006 for innovative composite and polymer applications. More than 20 engineers, technicians and specialists work on components for aviation, mechanical engineering and medical technology.

Capgemini Engineering

Capgemini Engineering combines the range of services between the digital and physical worlds. Innovative software is used to transform traditional manufacturing into Intelligent Industry. Capgemini Engineering is active in 30 countries with over 52,000 engineers and scientists in the fields of aviation, automotive, rail transport, communications, energy, life sciences, semiconductors, software & internet, space & defence and consumer goods.


Ylipson is an engineering company specialising in the following areas: Innovative Aircraft Engineering, ReCycling, ReUse, ReDesign, FEA, Testing, Certification, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Aviation, Transportation, Wind Energy and Medical Technology.

DIEHL Aviation

Diehl Aviation is an international supplier of avionics and cabin components such as galleys, on-board toilets and monuments, sanitary solutions for aircraft, fire protection, water supply and air conditioning.


Cradle to Cradle brings climate and resource protection together by focussing on recyclable and healthy materials, renewable energies, closed water cycles and fair working conditions in the design and production of products.


Autoflug has been committed to the rescue and safety of people for over 100 years. The company develops safety systems for vehicles on land, in the water and in the air.

More about the format

Participating experts from the creative industries

Florian Haettich -

Florian Haettich

Industrial / Produkt Design, Design for Circularity, User Experience, Illustration & Storyboarding

Sebastian Mends-Cole -

Sebastian Mends-Cole

#mehrdesignwenigermüll #sustainableDesign #designforDisassembly #cradletocradle #circulareconomy

Dr. Claudia Rinke -

Dr. Claudia Rinke

#storytelling #narrative_visioning #co-creation #brand_activism #eco-social_design

Further cross innovation cases

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