05 February 2009

Life in non space

Over the last few years and especially the last few months I have spend quiet a bit of my life in airports and planes.
Above and below the newly opened Emirates terminal at Dubai
aka as terminal 3 Dubai
Moving from security counter to security counter, from terminal to terminal
Terminal 1 and 3 at Dubai
Terminal 3 at London Heathrow
bus ride along terminal 1 Dubai

London Stansted
Mono railing between the terminals at JFK New York
and almost always ending up running breathless thru duty free shopping malls to catch my flight.
Gold shopping @ Terminal 1 Dubai

Shopping @ Schipol Amsterdam

the valley of shopping @ Terminal 3 Dubai

Shopping @ JFK New York
I have even had the ill-fortune of missing a few flights and thus prolonging the time I’ve had to spend in its huge halls.
Departure Hall @ Terminal 3 Dubai

Departure Hall @ London Stansted

Departure Hall @ Terminal 1 Dubai

Viewing gallery @ Eindhoven

and more shopping @ Terminal 1 Dubai
Below are some of the interesting/odd/strange/beautiful things and spaces I’ve encountered in some of them.
multi faith prayer room @ Amsterdam Schipol

Palm walk @ Terminal 1 Dubai

Rijks museum airport branch @ Amsterdam Schipol

Alexander Calder 's moving sculpture @ JFK New York

Lots of people watching planes from the viewing gallery @ Eindhoven
Some of them even have nice gardens in them.
Arrivals area @ Brasilia Airport

Departure Hall @ Terminal 3 Dubai

Departure Hall @ Brasilia Airport
And with the advent of low cost airlines and budget multiple transit routes the inside of the airport has also become a big billboard for tourism.
Luggage Trolley @ Athens airport

Billboard with the 'world' islands @ Terminal 3 Dubai
Yet sometimes it’s the outside or context of the airport that’s equally or more interesting.
The TWA Flight Center building, designed by Eero Saarinen @ JFK New York
Cochin international airport in the middle of paddy fields @ Cochin, Kerala
and the Mumbai international airport surrounded by slums
My primary fascination for the airport however, is that like railway stations of yesteryears it is a great place to watch people – happy people.. sad people.. confused people.. tired people and extremely excited people – excited about their trips or probably of fact that they are about to defy gravity!
a curious family @ Amsterdam Schipol

some tired transit passengers @ Terminal 1 Dubai

pilgrims @ Terminal 1 Dubai

and more tired people @ Terminal 1 Dubai
Parallel to all this there is another world of the luxurious privilege class terminals and lounges which try really hard to match the human drama of the normal terminal thru opulence and fancy cuisine.
premium terminal @ Doha

Reading room @ Virgin atlantic lounge @ Terminal 3 London Heathrow

sky lounge @ Virgin atlantic lounge @ Terminal 3 London Heathrow

fancy meals behind water walls @ premium terminal @ Doha
Bistro @ Virgin atlantic lounge @ Terminal 3 London Heathrow

Bar and cafe @ Virgin atlantic lounge @ Terminal 3 London Heathrow
And after all that once I'm finally in the air, I'm almost always amazed at how the flight safety card (on most airlines around the world) has managed to eluded the over design and commercialization that has absorbed most airports and flights.
Check the electronic equipments on this one – some of these designs are older than me

And I think all air hostess should wear traditional clothes

These sheets of paper remain the only piece of humour during any airport experience! It would be a pity to lose this sense!
To end this post - here’s a link to new design for an Indian airline’s flight safety card that has captured this humour very well indeed - http://www.infomen.org/illustration-product-page.php?id=49 and another website of very funny politically incorrect safety card images - http://www.airtoons.com/

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