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OH ! AHA ! AIRPORTS - Thirty Sixth Issue, January 2013
Traveling is often a stressful affair, and consumers typically have no choice but to remain in an agitated frenzied state as they check their baggage, pass through security and wait for their time to board. More airports, however, are now offering extra services and amenities to help alleviate traveler stress. These range from areas dedicated to yoga practice to mini motels and even playgrounds, all of which help consumers calm down and relax before takeoff. A marketing opportunity exists here for brands -- for example, IKEA has taken advantage of this development -- that can contribute to the growing demand for relaxation products and services at airports.
IKEA VIP Lounge in France Helps Travelers Alleviate Stress
The IKEA VIP Lounge has just opened at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport in France and will be open until Aug. 5. This large, 220-square-meter area will provide a safe and calming place where harried travelers can retreat for a bit of rest and relaxation.
Offering a space for both adults and children, the family-friendly IKEA VIP Lounge provides comfy IKEA sofas on which people can kick back and watch some TV or read. There is also a safe and secure play area for kids that features qualified instructors to entertain and watch over them while the parents get some down time, which might include taking a brief nap at one of the IKEA beds (there are nine bedrooms) in the area.
The Schiphol Departure Lounge 4 Lets Kids Play During Layover
The Schiphol Departure Lounge 4 is a kid-friendly departure area created by Dutch designers Tjep. The redone departure lounge is both kid-friendly and adult-friendly, and features a slide, colorful benches and artwork.
The kid-friendly portion of the Schiphol Departure Lounge 4 comes in the form of the aforementioned slide, the colorful couches and the airplane benches. The green couches may seem like an odd choice, but Tjep chose them to make the area look a bit more natural and outdoorsy. The plane benches were designed to give travelers a view of an airplane, as the lounge itself doesn’t offer a direct view of the runway. Adults who could care less about slides or airplane benches should get a kick out of the lounge’s over 100 power outlets, and its M.C. Escher artwork hanging from the ceiling.
The SleepBox Debuts in International Airports Around the Globe
When Trend Hunter announced and covered the SleepBox two years ago, the product was still in its infancy; a rash business idea that, although intriguing, might never work. Today, that same venture not only sees the light of day, but also promises to radically change the hotel and hospitality industry.
Doubts abounded about whether a small, 15 minute hotel would be used appropriately. Thus far, the SleepBox installed in the Moscow Airport hasn’t been misused and has received nothing but positive reports from passing travelers. Since prototyping, developer Arch Group has changed the construction material from plastic to wood, and the minimum reservation from 15 minutes to a half-hour.
Airport benches are notorious for their unergonomic design, making layovers considerably tougher to endure. But layovers aren’t the only problem the SleepBox hopes to conquer. Arch Group intends to introduce these personal motels throughout the city of Moscow.
SleepBox by Caspar Lohner Offers Peace in Busy Environments.
Caspar Lohner has created this contemporary pod for peace and quiet, called SleepBox. SleepBox offers a place where people can rest and relax amidst busy and crowded places, such as airports, workplaces and other urban settings.
Within the SleepBox is a leather-covered mattress on which you can kick back, and its exterior features a smooth, solid shell made of HI-MACS, a durable acrylic material. According to Contemporist, HI-MACS is extremely robust but can be molded and transformed (via heat) as well as “seamlessly connected.” Eleven HI-MACS pieces were used for the construction of SleepBox. They started off as flat sheets, which were thermoformed using a vacuum membrane press, and then glued together to create one continuous, seam-free design.
The SleepBox project was produced in collaboration with Klausler Acrylstein AG and supervised by Mathias Bernhard and Manuel Kretzer. SleepBox is also set to be exhibited at Swissbau 2012, starting Jan. 17.
The SFO Yoga Room Gives Travelers a Place to Calm the Mind
Traveling can be really stressful, but if you’re passing through the San Francisco International Airport (SFO), you can now stop to unwind and calm your mind at the SFO Yoga Room.
The Yoga Room was designed by the architectural firm Gensler and is currently located in Terminal 2 near the Recompose Area. Painted in calming blue hues, the SFO Yoga Room offers busy travelers a place where they can relax and self-reflect, featuring a floating wall that is meant to symbolize “a buoyant spirit and enlightened mind.” In the coming spring, the architects plan to install large, felt rocks inspired by Japanese Zen gardens. As Melissa Mizell, the Design Director at Gensler, points out, “The Yoga Room gives modern travelers a space that fosters and supports quiet and reflection. Those aren’t emotions that people typically encounter at the airport.”
Travelers hoping to stop and relax at the SFO Yoga Room should look out for a black sign featuring a white pictogram of a person in the Lotus position.
The Büro FÜR Mehr Drive Through Airport System is Convenient
The Drive Through Airport eliminates one of the most obnoxious parts of taking to the skies—navigating through a large airport in a maze-like series of tunnels and moving sidewalks before finally making it to the gate for boarding.
Rather than having the passengers find their way to their plane, this system, envisioned by Büro FÜR Mehr, has planes coming to the flyers.
The airport would function similar to a carwash where airplanes travel down a singular pathway divided into three sections to accommodate planes that are arriving, servicing and departing.
This system cuts down on the time between entering the airport and boarding as well as worrying about baggage getting to the right airplane. The idea is also planet-friendly as it helps to cut down on the amount of fuel used by aircraft traditionally forced to circle around the tarmac before taking off.
The Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge Has a Circular Motif
The Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge looks like the home of a hobbit. It boasts a cute circular motif that is present in everything from the sloping ceiling to the rounded doorways and even the spherical carpeting. Thankfully, the airport rooms are not sized for a hobbit as well or else only a very select few would be able to enjoy them.
Conceived by Istanbul-based design studio Autoban, the Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge is located at the Ataturk Airport International Departures in Istanbul. Capable of accommodating 2000 people, it has an airy design that lets in a lot of natural light. This vibe makes the space look even bigger than it actually is. It features resting rooms, a restaurant, tea garden, library, movie theater and more.
The 'Best Airports for Business Travelers' Info-graphic is Useful
Detailing the most professional-friendly flight hubs, the ‘Best Airports for Business Travelers’ infographic is an extremely helpful graph containing vital information for frequent flyers.
Using business-related criteria including amount of outlets, WiFi availability and USB ports, the graph breaks down the places workers can only hope to fly through. Even going so far as to rank the most professionally equipped airlines, the chart is something to consider when booking your next business trip. The chart suggests a slew of useful tech gadgets to take along on trips, speaking about them in terms of battery life and usability. iPads and portable storage devices were among those suggested in the infographic.
Full of hard-to-find information, this infographic provides a comprehensive snapshot of business-friendly travel. Sure to go viral amongst busy business peers, this is an excellent use of the infographic template.
Me-lo-di' is a Luggage Path That Lets Travelers Make Music
Waiting at the airport—whether it’s to take off or for a loved one to arrive—can get mighty boring, but the ‘Me-lo-di’ by Jeriel Bobbe will change that. This innovative tiled walkway, designed to be installed into airport floors, will allow travelers to create own music as they pull their wheeled baggage over the path.
Bobbe, a design graduate at Eindhoven’s Design Academy, made ‘Me-lo-di’ out of individual ribbed, wooden tiles, each of which is made to emit certain (musical) sounds when something—such as luggage—is rolled overtop of it. The tiles can be reorganized to create different sounds, and the distance between the ribs determines the pitch of the tones while the height of them dictates the volume, says PSFK.
According to Bobbe, ‘Me-lo-di’ will be deployed in airports to provide a playful way for travelers to walk. He says, “Whether I walk on sidewalks or on blind led tiles, there is music everywhere! I designed ribbed tiles to reproduce this effect.”
The Rolling Suitcase Charger Provides a Boost for Technology
Thanks to designer Jung Inyoung, the rolling suitcase charger was invented. This resourceful design allows the kinetic energy produced from movement to be transferred throughout a user’s suitcase and distributed into their devices. This revolutionary new prototype has the ability to prevent airport patrons everywhere from frantically searching for a power outlet, that is no-doubt already being used by three other people.
The rolling suitcase charger is comprised of a hard outer shell and several dynamic devices that make it the new power source for those on the go. There are two gears in the wheels, which build up the kinetic energy then stored in a battery with a power outlet, allowing users to plug in their dying cell phones and laptops. Additionally, there is also an LED indicator atop of the suitcase, which enables users to gauge how much of a charge has been built up on their battery.
On-Board Biometric Immigration Checks Coming to a Major Asian Airport
Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport is rolling out the world’s first on-board biometric immigration checks. The in-air checks will be run on a trial basis on low-risk flights coming into the airport’s LCCT (Low-Cost Carrier Terminal).
Malaysia may be a small country, but the LCCT still experiences a high volume of travelers, especially during peak travel times. Waits in the LCCT can reach as high as 45 minutes during these periods. The on-board biometric immigration checks would drastically slash wait times by checking in travelers on low-risk flights, the majority of which are operated by AirAsia. Once checked-in in the air, travelers would not be asked to see immigration officials again unless there is an issue. The eyes of the world, at least the airline industry, will be on the program. If successful, it could pave the way for others just like it in countries around the world. Now if only they could find a way to drop bag fees.
The New Kuwait International Airport Flies into the Future
Take flight into the future with the new design of the Kuwait International Airport with design plans that look straight out of the year 3000. Designed by London-based firm Foster + Partners, who are recognized and celebrated for their physics-defying, futuristics conceptions all over the world, this airport is almost as exciting as the idea of boarding a plane for a quick vacation.
The airport will supposedly see up to 13 million annual travelers with a capacity for up to 50 million if needed. Numbers like this are virtually unheard of in travel and transportation. The design allows a marriage between the indoor and outdoor worlds, providing relief from one of the world’s hottest climates while incorporating openings in the roof to allow for natural sunlight.
This airport will revolutionize the tourism industry in Kuwait and have significant global implications, as it aspired to be the first passenger airport to achieve environmental accreditation due to “the concrete structure acting as a thermal mass and the solar panels found on the roof,” says My Modern Met.
Kuwait’s traditional Dhow sailboats serve as the inspiration for the airport’s design and, as Mouzhan Majidi, the chief executive of Foster + Partners says, will hopefully be “a new symbol of contemporary Kuwait, which resonates with its rich culture and history.”
Air New Zealand Finds a Way to Get Excited About Safety
As a follow-up to their body paint ‘Nothing to Hide’ ad campaign, Air New Zealand has begun showing an inflight safety video with the flight crew wearing nothing except body paint.
The video is only shown on Air New Zealand’s domestic flights within New Zealand and is guaranteed to get passengers to pay more attention to safety. The 3-minute long video has become a hit on YouTube with over a 1.6 million views in the first week since being launched.
The Virgin America San Francisco Terminal Checks-In on Foursquare & Facebook
“Checking-in” with social media enthusiasts is the Virgin America San Francisco Terminal, an airport that will surely grab attention from jet-setting digital natives.
Virgin America is leveraging the Foursquare and Facebook platforms at its new international terminal to keep social networking travelers connected in the air and to reward the frequent fliers. Aside from the usual Arrival/ Departure screens are also leaderboard check-in screens too, to display who’s checked in at the airport. There is also a Facebook page and Twitter feed streamed live on the screen. The airline
will keep track of points and badges that are earned by these location-based users and award them with t-shirts and flight vouchers, straight from the Virgin America flight crew themselves.
The Virgin America San Francisco Terminal definitely takes flight in elevating a social media flying experience for digital globetrotters.
The Schiphol Airport Park Allows Passengers to Relax Before Take-Off
The Schiphol Airport Park is now accessible to all airport passengers flying out of Amsterdam’s airport. The indoor park features both an immense interior and an outdoor terrace, which can be used when the weather is nice. The indoor park mimics a real outdoor park in almost every way imaginable with plants, trees, flowers, picnic benches, green carpeting and pictures of butterflies mounted to the wall. The Schiphol Airport Park also includes a daily soundtrack of bike bell sounds, animals and children playing.
Passengers waiting for their flight can relax amongst the perfectly designed park while enjoying an organic coffee or snack from the Park Café. Using LED lighting wherever possible, this indoor park receives a few extra brownie points for being equally as environmentally friendly as it is innovative.
Christopher Janney's 'Harmonic Convergence' Combines Light & Sound
Travelers in Miami, Florida will love walking through the airport with the ‘Harmonic Convergence’ installation in place. The art piece replaces a walkway designed by the same artist, Christopher Janney, in 1997.
Located in the Miami International Airport in Florida, Harmonic Convergence combines elements of light, color and sound to create an incredible multi-sensory experience for everyone who walks through. The installation features a stunning array of shades with speakers playing the sounds synonymous with Florida, like those of tropical birds and thunderstorms. The most interesting part of Harmonic Convergence may be that the sounds change according to the density of people in the walkway, creating an intuitive relationship within the environment.
The Harmonic Convergence installation is like a free art show every time you go to the airport. Those who live in Miami can definitely call themselves lucky.
Collected and Contributed by Team CCT