From the moment a design is iterated to the day an aircraft is revealed, the teams and people who make it possible can sometimes take a back seat to the many achievements won along the way.
A Kansas native, Allison Placzek received her bachelor’s degree in interior design at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, before working for five years designing luxury homes in Wichita. Raised by her father who specialized in aeronautical engineering — her artistic brilliance playing a part in the next generation of Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft.
We asked her about her impressions of her time spent designing the interior of the new Cessna Citation CJ3 Gen2.
I would describe my style as understated elegance, but at the same time I'm also eclectic. I like clean material palettes, but if a customer wants to personalize their design, I'll throw in a fun pattern or color in a tasteful way.
We have a customer advisory board that we get feedback from throughout the design phase in order to ultimately build a mockup of the interior. My role was working with industrial designers and engineers to refine shapes in the aircraft and then select materials for the mockup. The process was very fast-paced, which presents challenges when collaborating with multiple teams to accurately incorporate the multiple rounds of customer feedback. As an interior designer, I get to follow this aircraft through to completion – working with engineering and multiple upholstery and cabinetry shops to ensure the design concepts are met and followed through to production. I then conduct spec sessions with each CJ3 Gen2 customer to design and personalize each interior to their liking. The project is not over once a new interior is announced.
I like to work with lots of different people and bounce ideas off of other designers. This allowed us to collaborate and hear other people's ideas and have them listen to mine. It's nice to have those different perspectives and everyone feels proud of their part in the end.
We wanted to listen to our customers, get their feedback and implement it in a way that they felt heard and excited about the product at the end. I'm most proud of cooperating with other teams and building great relationships with the best in the industry. Design wise, I love this interior. I think it's fun and sporty, and seeing it in person really impresses me. My favorite details are shown in the new tailoring on the seats, that allow customers more areas for personalization through the use of different materials and stitching details. I also love the clean nature of the new sidewall design, highlighted with recessed lighted cupholders that tastefully fade into the sideledge.
Hearing customer's feedback and seeing their reactions — I think that that in itself says a lot about the company — that we're listening, and that we will incorporate feedback and make an incredible product.
Whether it's taking pride in your work or your aircraft, the mosaic of minds that come together to transcend the extraordinary takes a back seat to none at Textron Aviation.
Explore your own possibilities at txtav.com/careers.