Elevator cab design isn’t just about functionality – it’s a reflection of architectural trends, technology, and user expectations. As buildings evolve, so do the design aesthetics of their elevators. In this post, we delve into the ever-changing landscape of elevator cab design, exploring the current trends shaping this crucial aspect of vertical transportation while identifying what’s becoming passé in the world of elevator interior design. Discover how elevators are now at the forefront of design innovation.

Elevator Cab Design Trends - What's In and What's Out | TBK Metal

Current Design Trends (What's In)

Elevator cab design is undergoing a dynamic transformation, driven by innovation that’s reshaping our interaction with these vital vertical transport systems. In this section, we’ll delve into the most current design trends that are making waves, offering insights into how these trends are redefining both the aesthetics and functionality of elevator cabs.

Elevator Wall Panels: A Canvas for Creativity

Elevator wall panels have evolved from functional enclosures to artistic canvases. Today, designers are embracing the opportunity to transform these panels into visually stunning works of art. Patterns, textures, and materials are being carefully curated to enhance the overall aesthetic of the elevator cab. This shift reflects a growing recognition that elevators are not just means of transportation but also integral elements of a building’s ambiance and identity.

The trend now leans toward minimalist and sleek designs, often featuring:

  • Minimalistic Geometry: Clean lines and geometric shapes create a sense of modernity and sophistication.
  • Natural Materials: Wood, stone, and metal accents bring a touch of nature into the elevator space, fostering a sense of warmth and connection with the environment.
  • Artistic Expression: Elevator wall panels are increasingly becoming a medium for showcasing local art, elevating the passenger experience to a new level.

Elevator Ceiling Panels: Elevating Ambiance

Elevator ceiling panels have undergone a remarkable transformation, transcending their status as mere functional components. They now play a pivotal role in defining the ambiance and mood within the cab. The fusion of innovative lighting schemes, rich textural elements, and captivating design aesthetics has elevated elevator ceilings into compelling focal points of interior design.

Some key trends include:

  • LED Lighting: LED technology allows for customizable lighting schemes, enabling designers to create varying moods with color-changing capabilities.
  • Mirrored Surfaces: Mirrored ceiling panels can create an illusion of greater height and space, adding a touch of luxury and openness.
  • A Play of Textures textures and patterns on elevator panels for ceilings can add depth and interest to the elevator’s interior, making it more engaging and visually appealing.

Elevator Door Panels: A Grand Entrance

Elevator door panels are often the first point of contact for passengers, and they set the initial impression. Designers are increasingly recognizing their significance in creating a grand entrance to the elevator cab. The choice of materials, finishes, and even subtle design elements like branding or artwork can elevate the overall aesthetic and ambiance, leaving a lasting impact on passengers’ experiences.

Notable trends include:

  • Frameless Doors: Frameless designs offer a sleek and contemporary look, allowing passengers to focus on the interior design without distractions.
  • Integrated Technology: Smart displays or touchless controls on elevator door panels provide both functionality and a futuristic feel.
  • Materials Harmony: Coordinating door panel materials with wall and ceiling designs ensures a harmonious and cohesive interior.

These current design trends in elevator cab design represent a departure from the mundane and utilitarian, ushering in an era where aesthetics and functionality coexist harmoniously. Elevator designers are embracing the opportunity to elevate the passenger experience through innovative wall, ceiling, and door panel designs that captivate and engage passengers from the moment they step inside. Stay tuned as we delve further into the evolution of elevator cab design in the following sections.

Past Trends That Are Phasing Out (What's Out)

Elevator cab design, much like any other field of design, has witnessed a continuous evolution in trends. What was once considered cutting-edge may now seem outdated and in need of a refresh. Here, we explore the design elements and practices that are slowly phasing out in elevator cab design, shedding light on the ever-shifting landscape of aesthetics and functionality.

Outdated Color Schemes:

In the past, elevator cabs were often characterized by monotonous and uninspiring color schemes. These designs lacked the vibrancy and aesthetics that contemporary passengers seek. Today, bold and innovative color palettes are replacing these drab choices, creating visually stimulating and inviting environments within the elevator.

Cluttered and Cramped Designs:

Older elevator cabs sometimes featured cramped spaces with excessive clutter, making passengers feel confined and uncomfortable during their brief journeys. Modern designs prioritize open and spacious layouts, making the most of available space and enhancing the overall riding experience.

Traditional Button-Based Controls:

The conventional array of buttons with numerical floor indicators is gradually giving way to more advanced and user-friendly control systems. Touchless controls and interactive touchscreens are becoming the norm, offering passengers a seamless and futuristic experience.

Lack of Attention to Accessibility:

Older designs often overlooked accessibility considerations, making it challenging for individuals with disabilities to use elevators independently. In contrast, contemporary designs prioritize universal accessibility, incorporating features such as tactile Braille buttons, audio cues, and spacious interiors to accommodate mobility devices.

Architects and designers gain valuable insights by recognizing outdated design elements. Embracing modern trends prioritizes elevating user experiences within elevator cabs. The evolving landscape emphasizes inclusivity, innovation, and passenger-centric designs. In the following section, we delve into how user experience influences the future of elevator cab design.

The Influence of User Experience

In the ever-evolving landscape of elevator cab design, one of the paramount factors influencing decisions is the overall user experience. Elevators are not just a means of transportation within buildings; they are integral components of a building’s functionality and aesthetics. As a result, designers and architects are increasingly focusing on enhancing the user experience in elevators. Here’s a closer look at how user experience is shaping elevator cab design:

User Comfort and Convenience:

Elevator cab design is moving towards prioritizing user comfort and convenience like never before. This includes ergonomic seating options, well-placed grab bars, and spacious interiors that minimize the feeling of confinement during the ride. The goal is to make passengers feel at ease, reducing any anxiety associated with elevator travel.

User Safety Considerations:

Safety is paramount in elevator design. Modern elevators incorporate advanced safety features such as emergency communication systems, sensor technology to prevent door accidents, and smooth acceleration and deceleration to minimize discomfort. User experience is significantly improved when passengers feel secure in their elevator journey.

Personalization Options:

Elevator cab design is also embracing personalization options to enhance the user experience. Users may be able to customize lighting, music, or even the interior aesthetics to suit their preferences. These personal touches can make the elevator ride more enjoyable and memorable.

Accessibility and Inclusivity:

Elevator cab design is increasingly focusing on accessibility and inclusivity. This includes features like braille buttons, voice announcements, and tactile floor indicators for visually impaired users. Wheelchair accessibility and spacious interiors ensure that elevators are usable by everyone, regardless of their physical abilities.

Integration of Technology:

Technology is playing a pivotal role in improving user experience. Touchless controls, intuitive user interfaces, and interactive displays are becoming commonplace in modern elevators. These technologies not only make the elevator ride more engaging but also reduce the need for physical contact, which is especially important in today’s health-conscious world.

Minimizing Wait Times:

Elevator designers are also looking at ways to reduce wait times. Predictive algorithms and smart scheduling systems can minimize the time passengers spend waiting for an elevator, leading to a more positive overall experience.

The influence of user experience is transforming elevator cab design from a purely functional aspect to a holistic approach that considers the comfort, safety, and satisfaction of passengers. Elevators are no longer just vertical transport; they are becoming integral elements of a building’s identity and the experiences they offer. As elevator cab design continues to evolve, we can expect even more innovative approaches to enhance the user experience in these vertical journeys.

Future Directions in Elevator Cab Design

Elevator cab design is a constantly evolving field, and staying ahead of the curve is crucial for architects, designers, and building owners. In this section, we’ll explore the exciting future directions that elevator cab design is taking:

Integration with Smart Building Technology:

  • Elevator cabs are becoming an integral part of smart building systems. They will increasingly connect with building management systems, IoT devices, and mobile apps.
  • Elevator cabs will offer features like predictive maintenance, real-time monitoring, and seamless integration with building security and energy management systems.

Sustainable and Energy-Efficient Designs:

  • As sustainability becomes a top priority, elevator cab design will focus on energy-efficient lighting, materials, and systems.
  • Expect to see innovations such as regenerative drives that recapture energy during descent and advanced LED lighting solutions that reduce power consumption.

Customization Options:

  • Personalization will play a significant role in future elevator cab design. Building occupants and owners will have more choices in customizing the look and feel of their elevator cabs.
  • From customizable interior finishes to personalized lighting and branding options, elevator cabs will cater to individual preferences.

Biophilic Design and Wellness Features:

  • Elevator cabs will increasingly incorporate biophilic design elements, such as living walls, natural materials, and soothing colors, to enhance occupant well-being.
  • Wellness features like air purification systems, noise reduction, and circadian lighting will become standard in elevator cab design.

Safety and Accessibility Enhancements:

  • Elevator cab design will continue to prioritize safety and accessibility, with features like touchless controls, voice-activated commands, and intuitive interfaces.
  • Enhanced safety measures will include antimicrobial surfaces and improved ventilation systems to address health concerns.

Multifunctional Spaces:

  • Elevator cabs of the future may serve multiple functions beyond transportation. They could transform into mini-conference rooms, interactive displays, or entertainment spaces during transit.
  • This adaptability will enhance user experiences and the overall utility of elevators in modern buildings.

Artistic and Expressive Designs:

  • Elevator cabs will increasingly be seen as canvases for artistic expression. Expect to see more creative and unique designs that reflect the building’s character or the architect’s vision.
  • Digital art installations, kinetic sculptures, and dynamic lighting will become more common in elevator cab design.

As we look to the future, elevator cab design will not only focus on functionality but also on creating exceptional experiences for passengers while aligning with sustainability and technological advancements. Staying informed about these future directions will be crucial for those involved in the design and construction of modern buildings.

Tips for Staying Up-to-Date

In the ever-evolving realm of elevator cab design, keeping abreast of the latest trends and innovations is paramount for architects, designers, and building proprietors. To help you maintain a cutting-edge edge in this dynamic field, we’ve curated a collection of invaluable tips to keep you consistently well-informed:

Follow Industry Publications:

Stay informed by subscribing to industry-focused magazines, websites, and newsletters devoted to elevator design and architecture. These sources regularly showcase insightful articles and case studies spotlighting cutting-edge trends and projects.

Attend Design Conferences:

Attend elevator and architecture conferences, trade shows, and exhibitions. They offer chances to connect with industry experts and witness firsthand the latest design innovations and technological advancements in this dynamic field.

Engage in Online Communities:

Become part of online forums, social groups, and professional networks centered on elevator cab design. These communities offer fantastic opportunities to exchange ideas, pose queries, and uncover fresh trends in vibrant discussions.

Continuous Learning:

Consider enrolling in specialized courses, workshops, or webinars to enhance your expertise. Numerous educational institutions and industry associations provide both online and in-person programs tailored to elevator cab design.

Visit Showcase Buildings:

Whenever you have the chance, make it a point to explore buildings featuring cutting-edge elevator cabs. These visits provide invaluable inspiration and offer firsthand insights into the practical application of the latest design trends.

Connect with Suppliers:

Build meaningful connections with elevator component suppliers and manufacturers. They offer valuable insights into cutting-edge products and technologies, enriching your design capabilities with the latest advancements and trends.

Network with Peers:

Participate in industry networking events, forging connections with like-minded professionals. Collaborative discussions with peers yield invaluable insights into prevailing trends and the intricacies of contemporary challenges within the field.

Monitor Technology Advancements:

Stay vigilant for technological advancements, particularly in smart building integration, energy efficiency, and accessibility. These breakthroughs frequently catalyze shifts in elevator cab design, shaping the future of vertical transportation aesthetics and functionality.

Seek Feedback:

Engage with building occupants, clients, and end-users to glean insights into their preferences and requirements. This invaluable feedback empowers you to tailor your designs, ensuring they align with ever-evolving expectations.

Stay Adaptable:

Embrace adaptability as a fundamental principle. In the ever-changing realm of design, today's trends may not hold tomorrow. Cultivate an openness to change, and remain eager to explore fresh concepts and ideas.

With these invaluable strategies integrated into your professional approach, you’ll discover a wellspring of readiness to expertly navigate the ever-evolving landscape of elevator cab design trends. This foresight and adaptability will not only preserve the innovative essence of your projects but also guarantee their widespread allure to a diverse clientele and user base.


In the ever-evolving world of elevator cab design, staying abreast of trends is paramount. This blog has highlighted the current “in” trends, shedding light on design elements that are losing favor. As we move forward, it is evident that elevating user experience, sustainability, and technological integration will shape the future of cab design. Embrace these trends to create functional, inviting, and forward-thinking elevator cabs that meet the demands of modern architecture and user expectations.

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