i wrote here a while back about my particular relationship with airports and air travel. in fact, i discovered a hot book called airplane the other day at gemma’s place – all the cool stuff about airplanes. naturally including ms penelope-inspired hostess outfits from the 70s. swoon!
but this is not a post about pan am. or pam ann
when i was at the RMIT architecture open studio thing, i was checking out the lower pool concept drawings and projects – quite a few at docklands (yawn), a stadium and and one which caught my eye about airports. while the sketches and mock-up didn’t altogether float my boat, there was a strategy diagram which underlined the whole reasoning behind her project which was amazing – focusing on the sad, happy, lonely and waiting places of airports. yes, that’s right kids – emotions! the intangible, but incredibly real element of human-ness in airports. i can’t tell you how pleased i was to see this appear in the working docs for the plans.
i’m not an iconoclast. i like a building to look beautiful. but i also firmly believe that architecture has to work. it has to support the process for which it is intended. it has to respond to the brief (which, interestingly, i heard as the main difference between craft and design). what i think happens a lot of the time is that the brief can easily get swallowed up in the tangible: on time, on budget, OH&S standards, building codes, material considerations, door widths, step heights, dimension, depth, reflections, etc, etc. of course those things are important, but and then don’t forget about the fact that within that space, somebody is going to feel something.
this is the bit that keeps me thinking about place and looking at space, is this consideration for how somebody feels somewhere. and perhaps good architectural design – be that exterior, interior, landscape or urban, is the best possible consideration for our emotions.*
*which just got me thinking again about empathy. hmm. spaces for empathy.