Icon 129: Airports 04.02.14

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In 1997, Sir John Sorrell's design agency rebranded British Airways, commissioning bold new art for the tail-fins of each plane in the fleet. These "ethnic liveries", which took inspiration from the many countries BA flew to, famously offended Margaret Thatcher, who covered a model of one with her handkerchief. "We fly the British flag," she decreed, "not these awful things."

In our 'Airports' issue we look at how four national airlines have reinvented themselves. Designers such as Hella Jongerius (for KLM) and Future Brand (for American Airlines) have taken a generic plane and tried to impose upon it a national identity. They control the look and feel of the entire experience of travel at 30,000 feet, from the cutlery to seat covers.

We visit Studio Fuksas's new airport in Shenzhen, a sinuous, stimulating, light-flooded terminal. We also look at the roots of the jet age, in the 1950s, when Hollywood art director William Pereira teamed up with advertising executive Charles Luck man to design LAX. And Nick Ballon documents Bolivia's bankrupt airline in pictures.

Upfront there's Herzog & de Meuron's Pérez Art Museum, highlights from Design Miami, Coralie Gourguechon's Paper Speaker, Holzer Kobler's research centre in Schöningen, Stonehenge's new visitor centre, Junil Park's sketchy furniture, Tadao Ando's house in Monterrey, and a preview of Design Shanghai.

This month's design report brings you the latest products and furniture from Scandinavia and an interview with Icelandic designer Brynjar Sigurdarson.

And in Review, Isa Genzken at MoMA, a new biography of Ian Nairn, Ken Worpole and Jason Orton in England's flatlands, and Gavin Stamp's essays.

Buy old issues or subscribe to the magazine for more like this



Christopher Turner



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