Reinventing airspace: spectatorship, fluidity, intimacy at PEK T3.
In this article, I explore the contemporary practice of air travel conceptualizing airports as socio-technical mobilities. Drawing both from the notion of “space” posited by Michel de Certeau and that of “non-place” by Marc Augé, I argue that the supermodern nature of air travel has generated forms of crisis that have embedded themselves in the architecture and the modus operandi of contemporary airports. Airports are necessarily located in a physical and tangible sense, yet their function is so tightly coupled with transience, mobility and spectatorship, that they bring anthropological accounts of “place” to unprecedented extremes. In this article, I analyze three tensions that are inherently bound to the contemporary practice of air travel and that present themselves as symbiotic phenomena: spectatorship/solitude, fluidity/control, intimacy/sameness. I explore the presence and interplay of these tensions in the spatial (spectatorship), technological (fluidity) and physical (intimacy) arrangements of the recently completed Terminal 3 at Beijing's International Airport.
Alberto Pepe. "Reinventing airspace: spectatorship, fluidity, intimacy at PEK T3." ACE: Journal of Architecture, City & Environment. 4.10 (2009): 9-19.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/albertopepe/15