Buy some time (Part 1)
It has been a non-productive as I linger around Penang Airport for hours on end. No thanks to Penang's long celebrated reputation delayed evening flights out (national carrier in particular). And also no thanks to the fact that they are stingy enough not to have wifi anywhere within the terminal. Damn! How did our forefathers while away their time 20 years ago?
Anyway, as an designer/architect (a green one if I were to consider my bio-climatic responsive and sustainable office principles), I sometimes cry in my own shame of my ignorance of the bad designs around us. There are so bloody many of them, it is everywhere I turn. OK, not to bore you all with my boring world, the conclusion today is there are so many redundant designs around which could be turned into wonderful things. hahahaha (here is the birth of an Adaptive Re-use Designer a.k.a the Recycler!).
You see, airports have similar design fundamentals. It has longitudinal dimensions with endless gates etc. It has a roof over (metaphorically an oil palm plantation for KLIA), and lots of glass for us to see beyond our gate, that our flight is yet again, delayed for another 45 minutes. haha. Within these tubes/boxes, there are many shops, cafes etc which are strategically located to allure us to spend, for the wrong reasons i.e. to eat, eat and eat. With my limited travels abroad, none of them I visited comes with a gym (why would any traveller in their suits or holidaymakers would want to catch 30 minutes of RPM anyway, right?).
Well, I went around from one end to another end of Penang airport enough to cover 10km (yeah, really!), and the fact that I was calculating in my head the odds of my supposed run later today - running was on top of my head to steam off the stress of a bad day away from home. As I walked around I can't help but to think the waste of the long roof. Boring, mundane and dark roof, which in fact, the real purpose is to protect us from the sun and the rain. Period.
Imagine a green forest above it and around the gates, with weaving running tracks going up and down. A sole people like me who doesn't appreciate the delays through no fault of my own, will appreciate that. As a designer, as a runner wannabe, as an environmental advocate (chewah!) - because it is a practical proposal.
Imagine the elevated view (most airports are near waterways) of miles and miles of rolling hills, the ocean and blue sky (ok, too dramatic), and crossing tracks. Never mind the deafening sound (trees are excellent sound insulator), at least if I were not to run anyway, it is far a better view compared to dull and empty runway. I would have something to do if the bloody plane is late again.
Wishful thinking, huh?