The tricks of airport design

May 28, 2019 Sanjana Saluja

Airport design puts a lot of thought in how to keep travelers calm, quiet – and ready to shop.  From a terminal’s colors to the security queue, BBC explores the tricks of airport design.

In 1995, French anthropologist Marc Auge categorised the airport as a “non-place”. Found the world over, non-places are devoid of identity – uniform structures (think Starbucks or McDonalds) that remain the same no matter where they are. By his definition airports are architectural machines, designed with the express purpose of moving people efficiently from one place to another.

And, like a Starbucks or McDonalds, every aspect of an airport’s structure and layout is strategically designed – because although an airport is a “non-place”, it nonetheless is profoundly unique on a psychological level. Once you enter, you forfeit your anonymity, handing over government-issued identification and agreeing to security searches. To a certain degree, you could argue that you give up your free will as you’re corralled through an unfamiliar environment to your final gate

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