Air Informative Infrastructure

Proposed Signage Throughout Airport2015Lee Cody & Xing Lu
Proposed Signage (Detail)2015Lee Cody & Xing Lu
Burbank Airport hidden infrastructure (security x-ray and baggage loading)2015Lee Cody & Xing Lu

Air Informative Infrastructure is an attempt to inform airline passengers of the hidden infrastructure and systems of how airports function. The project exists as a proposal to the Burbank Airport (BUR) for signage throughout the airport, and murals in the terminals. Essentially utilizing the physical structure of the airport to communicate its infrastructure.

Each of the three proposed murals communicates a system or facility that enables the airport to function. These systems are communicated purely visually, with an approachable aesthetic. The child-like aesthetic of the murals is dual function: it indicates that the information communicated is unofficial, and it maintains approachability for all ages.

The murals depict what happens to passengers' bags after the bags are checked, the cargo and private flight business that operates out of the airport, and the mandated fire station that is present at the airport.An immense increase in signage throughout the airport is also proposed. This draws attention to the airport-as-landlord, as each new sign would easily identify the company that is currently renting space at the airport, or indicate available space for rent. This increases awareness of both how the airport functions in relation to the airlines, as well as what business happens at the airport.

The project arose after visiting the site and seeing various parts of the airport that are normally inaccessible to passengers. Because of federal regulations, many of these areas are entirely opaque, even going as far as prohibiting all photographs and sound recordings.

We researched and catalogued the information given to passengers and contrasted that with information we received about the airport's infrastructure. Most information given to passengers is restrictive, without being explanatory. This leaves passengers frustrated and completely in the dark about how the airport works, why their plane is taking so long to leave the runway, even where their bags go after checkin.

This methodology of utilizing the physical structure of a location or object to communicate its own infrastructure is interesting to me in a larger context. It's also a great way to offer free information as per the ideologies of the open source & free software movements. In many ways, this methodology offers a means for compassion, as people are more forgiving of those things that they understand better.

Air Informative Infrastructure is a collaboration with Xing Lu