Whatever else you may think of coaches, they never really show much imagination on the part of their designers. But then beyond big windows, lots of wheels and a huge space for luggage, what else could there be to add to this ultimate A to B machine?
That was the question that holiday company National Holidays decided to ask an unusual panel of designers. They weren’t automotive engineers, and they weren’t coach travel experts either – they were a group of children aged from 3 to 10.
Their brief was simple. They were told to let their imaginations run riot with no rules, no restrictions and no grown-ups telling them what to think or do. They just had to dream up the sort of coach they’d most like to catch to go on holiday.
The group was gathered together and recorded as they gave their thoughts on everything from colour schemes to accessories and from what materials to use to unusual sources of power.
When all their opinions had been captured the sound recordings were handed over to an (adult) designer called Nik Cann to create visual representations of their verbal descriptions. There’s not enough room to describe them all, but here are some selected highlights
Karina, aged 4, wanted her coach to come with its own rainbow as well as being made out of “a ginormous pancake” complete with syrup and an egg on top.
6 year old Lucas, on the other hand, had some pretty firm ideas about the level of luxury and bling that he’d expect to see on his dream coach. For a start it would be gold with silver stripes and have flames shooting out from all the wheels as it travelled along. But, best of all, it would have a retractable roof that could be taken off when the sun came out.
One of the youngest interviewees, Amiera (3) wanted to create the perfect coach for a visit to a safari park. She thought it should look like a lion, have up to nine trees on the roof and be decorated with multi-coloured sparkly stripes. Then, as an afterthought, she said she’d also quite like it to fly!
You can hear all the kids describing their personal visions for the future of coach travel in the above video. So next time you see a jet-powered convertible coach roaring up the M1 remember that you saw it here first!