By Erika Owen
June 29, 2015
Students Create Products from Plane Materials
Credit: KLM via YouTube

When KLM introduced a new business class cabin design, fourteen students from Design Academy Eindhoven received quite the homework assignment. In a move straight out of Project Runway, the airline handed over all of the materials from the previous cabin design (read: invited the designers to scavenge the airplane's skeleton) and students were given 12 weeks to create travel products using these resources—seats, carpets, seatbelts, TV screens, and any other cabin essential you can think of. The assignment prompt —cleverly called "Plane to Product"—stated that 70 percent of the final designs be made of the plane's recycled materials. The results were beyond creative: on-board slippers, backpacks, mobile phone speakers, travel pillow-turned-carry-on bag, in-flight exercise tools; the list goes on.

Here's the tie-in: Hella Jongerius is the designer behind KLM's new World Business and Economy Class interiors and is also a graduate from the Design Academy Eindhoven. Eight of the best designs were chosen to be displayed in the front window display of Amsterdam's de Bijenkorf department June 1st-15th, but you can get a behind-the-scenes look at the design process below:

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.