Accelerating Innovation

Creating the world’s most sustainable, high-quality airports. That is the ambition of Royal Schiphol Group (RSG). Researchers from Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) work together with RSG in the ‘Accelerating Innovation’ programme, to explore processes, technologies, applications and travel modalities that help create seamless travel experiences in a sustainable, resilient and multimodal transport hub. 

Design researchers connect stakeholders, develop and test design methods, and explore new technologies and modalities. This project fits within IDE’s Mobility theme and is divided into three challenges, each with a dedicated PhD-researcher.

1. Design for Impact of Autonomous Processes in Organisations

The world has witnessed a steady development in autonomous technology and its applications. These applications currently range from the semi-autopilot in modern-day Teslas, to the completely unmanned and remotely operated cargo terminal at Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte II. We expect these developments to also drive innovation in other industry sectors, such as the aviation industry, at a large scale.

The main objective of this research is to find out how designers can contribute to the necessary transformations of stakeholder landscapes when developing and implementing new autonomous processes.

2. Resilient Multimodal Transport Hubs in a Pandemic-Aware Society

The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in 2020 made it clear that many of the facts of life as we knew them are not as rigid as we perceived them to be. Societal values and realities were disrupted globally: within weeks, set-in-stone assumptions that used to shape entire businesses and industries were suddenly being re-evaluated.

We’re researching how to assist airports in remaining operational during a pandemic situation, such as COVID-19, by helping them prevent the (further) spread of pathogens and contribute to our pandemic-aware society by identifying their role in pandemic prevention networks. All while keeping the passenger experience in mind.

3. Seamless and Sustainable Multimodal Transport Hubs

People are more and more aware of their (individual) impact on the environment when travelling. The development of new travel modalities, such as Hyperloop, electrical Vertical Take-off & Landings (eVTOL) and (zero-emission) autonomous (ride sharing) vehicles enable more sustainable travel options for a growing number of people. In addition to these emerging modalities, existing modalities, such as international trains and planes could also offer options for travel within Europe.

The goal of this research is to develop and apply an innovation methodology that allows multimodal transport hubs to select and integrate new travel modalities into a design for a future multimodal transport hub, that scores highly in terms of sustainability, usability, user experience and accessibility.