umeå airport experience

As the ethnography research project in the Institute of design, teams were responsible to redesign the experience of the local airport, following a strict research process of observations, interview and participatory design events to elicit needs and opportunities. 

I teamed up with my colleague Haishu Zang from China and in our process we noticed some confusing areas that required direct intervention, such as the placement of check-in kiosks and their relationship to luggage drop as well as opportunities to change the overall perception that the airport is just what it is.

We noticed that the key activity in the airport is waiting: to go, for someone to arrive, for your turn in some process etc. and that other activities are filling up that space: eating, shopping, reading, sleeping, relaxing, talking etc. 

That drove our participatory design workshops where with this idea of waiting in some key areas: communication, information, surprise and entertainment we had a group of people produce concepts and then refine their choices using techniques such as "idea shopping" where they were given a budget to purchase the concepts they were interested.

The result of this process was a key input for the design concepts we created all forming a system of infotainment that travelers and visitors would use throughout their experience in the airport. 

This project was presented to a board of all airport managers in Sweden and the evidence related to the role of waiting was taken as a great finding that could enhance the experience. 

Umeå, Design Institute, 2007
- with Haishu Zang.