Talks about the future are often translated in hightech looking concepts. And when the subjects are trains, the result is always a testosteronic missile, clearly ready to challenge the latest speed record.
It is therefore a breath of fresh air when someone thinks of the future without betting on a further strengthening of performances but on style. And does it without reinventing the train, but by adjusting what already exists.
Christophee Jenner did it.
The British interior designer revamped the Eurostar in a pop-baroque style, using tricks that Jaime Hayon has already extensively applied. He proposed large windows, with smooth edges, that go as far as the roof. And he designed the whole compartment in wood, brass and carbon fiber (the contemporary translation of the ancient bronzes of the Orient Express).
There is, obviously, a high tech touch. The seats are geared with services that turn them into customizable alcoves: airco, power, wifi connection. But their curved shape, the use of capitonné and the yellow colour turn the train from a globalized, soulless space into a personal one.
In Paris, on the contrary, Encore Eux Agency has conceived an RER in a Chateau de Versailles style. There are paintings, sculptures and ceiling frescoes as well as a replica of the castle’s library and of it most celebrated salons: that of Mirrors and the one of Battles.
A touch too kitsch? Definitely. But I really appreciate those who design for the future without assuming that better is necessarily high tech looking. Also, as a daily user of the sad Italian railways, i cannot help seeing all this as a breath of fresh air. Thank you to Trendland and TheFoxIsBlack.