Airplane Seat Design Solves The Issue Of Shared Armrests

Airplane Seat Design Solves The Issue Of Shared Armrests

The Paperclip Armrest allows two passengers to each have their own place to rest.

Kristen Nozell

We’ve all been there — the awkward battle with a fellow passenger for control over the too-small armrest. A concept design called the Paperclip Armrest aims to make sharing this territory as easy as possible with a dual layer configuration. The simple solution effectively doubles the space and allows two passengers to use the armrest simultaneously.


The designer behind the invention is James Lee of Hong Kong-based Paperclip Design. Lee is an aviation enthusiast and has won awards such as the Crystal Cabin Award for his innovative aerospace design concepts. One such concept, the Meerkat Seat, offers a solution for long-haul economy flights that maximizes passenger space and comfort while minimizing weight, a major concern for aircraft undertaking longer flights. The sleek design incorporates the double decker armrest.


The Paperclip Armrest is already patented in the U.S. and UK and has won prestigious awards such as the Red Dot Award and Good Design Award. Even though it may be some time before it is approved for use in airline cabins, the armrest has the potential to improve any public seating with tight quarters, such as movie theaters and trains.

Paperclip Armrest

[h/t] Skift

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