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Watch Better by Design with Richard Seymour and Dick Powell online: Episode 1 A better airline seat

Every year millions of us jet off to exotic holiday destinations. But before we get there, we endure many hours of cramped discomfort on long haul economy flights. The airlines face unprecedented commercial pressure to carry the maximum number of passengers. So people are crammed into economy airline seats without sufficient legroom or space to recline. This is not just undesirable, it can cause serious health problems. Reviewing the cramped conditions, designer Richard Seymour remarks: "Crushed from the side, uncomfortable in recline, uncomfortable upright - I think Id really rather walk across the Atlantic than travel long haul in seats like these." He and his partner Dick Powell share grievances with a group of seasoned economy travellers. "I usually spill something, I end up with a lapful of orange juice," says one user. "I get tremendous cramp in the calf," says another. "Once your feet swell, you cant put your shoes back on," says a third. Despite the limitations they face in terms of space and weight on aircraft, designers Seymour Powell resolve to design a better economy airline seat.

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