- ”Spoiled”, “bored”, “irritated” and “nervous”: The transformations of a mobile subject in airport design discourse
- Book title
- Mobilising Design
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- London: Routledge
- ISBN (electronic)
- Routledge Studies in Human Geography
- Volume (Serie)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
While earlier literatures on airports portrayed an international terminal as an immaculate ordered world inhabited by anonymous docile passengers, gradually a more dynamic and even messy image of the airport came into view. Mobilities scholars have discussed how airport design is shaped by considerations related to logistics, security and commercial interests and pointed to the tensions between those. Yet what remains a blind spot in the discussion of rationales behind airport design is the figure of the mobile subject who is supposed to move from A to B without delay, not cause any disturbance and, preferably, shop. Scholarly discussions of the role of the passenger in airport design are mostly based on speculations and evidence obtained by academics during their own travels. Thus, the image of an anonymous, docile passenger is yet to be substituted by a more complicated portrait.
How are passengers envisioned? Are they imagined as a homogenous crowd or as individuals with diverse backgrounds? How are their needs seen by different stakeholders? The analysis based on interviews with airport design professionals suggests that, firstly, the character and the needs of passengers are a contested subject and that stakeholders mobilize particular visions to defend specific decisions. Secondly, the analysis points to some paradoxes of the image of the passenger as at the same time possessing a unique profile and being no different from anyone else. Thirdly, the findings suggest that there are missing features in the portrait of the passenger which leads to missed opportunities in airport design.
- Final publisher version
Final publisher version
- Other links
- Link to publication in Scopus
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