Excellent industrial design student work: Project Isle by Dennis Tsai


Made as a final project at the Art Center, industrial designer Dennis Tsai Island Project is an ambitious redesign of bus seats. Specifically, not public transportation — which has to deal with vandalism, at least in America — but the types of company-provided buses that Google and others use to transport workers to and from the office.

Tsai has set several goals: Lighten the seats; provide more privacy between passengers; and improve the overall UX.

“The seat is made of a single-frame structure covered with mesh fabric. The breathable materials are beneficial for long-lasting seating, and the lightweight structure helps reduce the overall weight of the bus for better energy or electrical efficiency.”

“By using breathable and recyclable materials, the bus seat itself becomes more durable. Current bus seat designs use a lot of foam and vinyl leather to achieve comfort and a stylish look. [My design] is made of 100% recycled polyester mesh fabric, recycled plastic and aluminum.

“Built-in bag hooks allow passengers to hang their backpacks or purses without putting them on the floor or overhead storage. With the bags right in front of them, passengers can access their bags without any obstacles.”

“Thanks to the wireless charging integrated into the folding table, passengers can charge their phone without bringing a cable. The extendable work surface also allows passengers to use their laptop or tablet while on the move.”

“By staggering adjacent seats, passengers can have a better sense of privacy and individuality as they are not sitting parallel to each other.”

“The single-sided headrest helps block the view of others, giving passengers a sense of privacy while letting daylight in from the other side. It also acts as an acoustic panel to absorb sound when the we’re talking on the phone.”

Tsai completed the project in 12 weeks, and you can see the amount of work he put into it:

It should be noted that the project is from 2019, before COVID.

Today, Tsai is an outstanding industrial designer who has already accumulated experience at Belkin, Microsoft and HP. Nice job, Tsai!

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