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, now and into the future. Some of the largest, most complex, and symbolic icons of contemporary public architecture today are airports. Beyond attracting unprecedented passengers and business, airport mega projects can trigger inventive form-finding and integral programs that defy notions of the impossible. Megahubs of the 21st century reflect long-term urban planning strategies, enormous investments in global transportation infrastructure, unique multidisciplinary creative collaborations, and localized and contested political discussions.
AERIAL FUTURES explores the current state of airport design and the future of this rapidly evolving architectural typology by bringing together thinkers and practitioners to discuss new trends in the architecture of air travel.
AERIAL FUTURES: sky’s the limit
In the context of the 2017 Mextropoli Architecture Festival, AERIAL FUTURES: sky’s the limit expanded upon an ongoing international debate surrounding the future of airport terminal design. This AERIAL FUTURES think-tank brought together a group of international and local pioneers to discuss how airports can be catalysts for architectural innovation. Experts discussed the inherent environmental, economic political and social implications associated with these prototypical projects, along with the risks and promises that they carry. Local and international guests including representatives from the project team for the new international airport of Mexico City joined the conversation on March 11, 2017.
AERIAL FUTURES: grounded visions
Hosted by the European Cultural Centre, AERIAL FUTURES: grounded visions was organized by PLANE—SITE as a two-day, salon style symposium to be part of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia’s official collateral events. The symposium formed a vital response to last year’s Biennale theme, Reporting from the Front, as increasing numbers of globally mobile people have an ever-greater impact on the development of the start- and end-point of air travel: the airport terminal.
Drawing on the expertise of prominent airport terminal designers, industry leaders and disruptive innovators, the symposium is a forum for knowledge sharing and exchange and took place on October 17-19, 2016. Keynotes, presentations and panels showcase leading thinking and projects related to terminal creation and operation, from the smallest-scale components to overall user experience. The expert lectures, panels and roundtable discussions are in an interactive e-library.