The Toolkit of Tactics

That Guide Passenger Perception


There was once a time before flying became ordinary. 

Consider Icarus, pasting those sticky wings on, / testing that strange little tug at his shoulder blade, / and think of that first flawless moment over the lawn… Admire his wings!” – Anne Sexton

This yearning for flight is a familiar, universal human longing – but one could be forgiven for forgetting that. Flying became mundane at some point, both historically and personally; historically, as airplane travel became much more accessible as a mode of transportation, and personally, as we outgrow our individual childhood dreams of flying. Our cultural perception of air travel is far more ambivalent today, tinged with unease and anxiety. No longer do we begin with “Consider Icarus,” but rather we ask “is the air travel experience inherently unpleasant?”

The Responsive Environments and Artifacts Lab (REAL) is interested in describing and quantifying the effects of different architectural and physical elements on the passenger experience, and in analyzing the habits and rituals that people form to respond to these design decisions.

Research Team: Allen Sayegh, Humbi Song, Zach Seibold, Isa He, Oliver Luo, Jan Kwan