Aerial Futures, Grounded Visions: Shaping the Airport Terminal of Tomorrow was a two-day symposium held in October 2016 as part of the European Cultural Center's collateral event at the 2016 Venice Biennale. It encouraged discussion about the future of air travel from the perspectives of architecture, design, technology, culture and user experience. The event featured presentations and discussions by the likes of airport architect Curtis Fentress, Nelly Ben Yahoun, Donald Albrecht, Director of the Museum of the City of New York; Anna Gasco, post-doctoral researcher at the ETH-Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore; Jonathan Ledgard, co-founder of the Droneport Project; and Ashok Raiji, Principal at Arup New York.
Airports and the aviation industry are at the frontline of global demographic shifts, acting as economic engines and cultural icons. Despite being among the youngest of building typologies, airports are taking the lead as intricately-designed, highly frequented and resource-intensive structures that define how we travel, trade and connect with each other.
Keynote: Curtis Fentress, Principal Terminal Designer at Fentress Architects
Fantastic Infrastructure: 21st Century Terminals
We are all familiar with current terminal paradigms, from Arrivals to Departures and all of the complex spatial gymnastics in between. What do advances in technology and contemporary demands on air travel infrastructure mean for the terminals of the future - and how do past projects inform current trajectories?
- Christian Henriksen, Nordic Office for Architecture
- Jonathan Ledgard, The Droneport Project / EPFL Lausanne
- Dr. Wayne Place, NC State University College of Design
- Ashok Raiji, Arup New York
- Moderated by Donald Albrecht, Museum of the City of New York
Icons and Engines: Catalysts for Urban Development
The 21st century has seen an increase in high-profile terminals that act as economic engines and emblematic portals for cities. In an era of global competition between cities – in addition to nations – superior airports have a significant influence. Development –and redevelopment– play a critical role defining the urban and even regional dynamics beyond the airport. How can a single building have cultural, economic and political implications?
- Anna Gasco, ETH Zurich / Future Cities Laboratory
- Max Hirsh, University of Hong Kong
- Alex Sutton, Sevil Peach Architecture + Design
- Andrew Vasey, Vasey Aviation Group
- Moderated by Andres F. Ramirez, PLANE—SITE
Keynote: Nelly Ben Hayoun, award-winning director and experience designer
Getting to Departures: User Experience
Architecture facilitates the intricate transition between airspace and passengers’ much-anticipated destinations. Moving through time and space in airport terminals is still often perceived as more of an obstacle than an enjoyable experience. As interaction with terminal infrastructure increases in frequency and engagement, airports can offer travellers choices to relieve the stress of travel. How should architects balance functional design, digital interfaces, place specificity and comfort to heighten user experiences across the board?
- Frank Barich, Barich Consulting
- Tom Theobald, Fentress Architects
- Sila Siva, Autoban
- Martin Zangerl, UNStudio
- Moderated by George Kafka, &beyond collective
Landing in the World of Tomorrow
A bit of speculation is essential when we consider the future of airports. Trends and demographic shifts may help forecast the future of air travel and infrastructure. If change is constant on all are fronts, what are the critical considerations when projecting future scenarios? How will architecture adapt to transformations in the aviation industry and the culture of global travel over the next century?
- Miklos Deri, Drive Through Airport
- Agatha Kessler, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Tobias Nolte, Certain Measures
- Ostap Rudakevych, Clouds Architecture Office
- Moderated by Lukas Feireiss, Studio Lukas Feireiss