AUSTIN, TEXAS — As part of a drive to expand its customer base to include more millennials, Airstream Inc. turned to the Columbus College of Art & Design's MindMarket studios to develop a mobile office and living space product concept.
Industrial design students from CCAD spent a semester designing and building the prototype, turning to plastics in several instances in part to fit the lightweight needs of iconically aluminum Airstream travel trailers. The full-size prototype, built inside a shell provided by Airstream's Jackson Center, Ohio, manufacturing facility, was showcased at the Industrial Designers Society of America‘s International Conference in Austin.
The trailer, which features convertible seating and a desk area that opens to the outdoors, includes Lexan polycarbonate windows, Corian solid-surface countertops, vinyl flooring, plastic laminate and fiberglass features.
The design team sought to respect the Airstream character while appealing to younger markets, said Laura Purkhiser, a senior at CCAD and one of the designers on the project. Airstream's current customer base averages 60 years old.