Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Art and Design

First Advisor

Jason Snape

Second Advisor

Kimberly Cleveland

Third Advisor

Jeffrey Boortz

Abstract

Since the introduction of international air travel, airports have aimed to be shared spaces that are accessible and understandable to all. In this quest for universal approachability, airports became sterile: characterless, hospital-like clouds devoid of any diversity or cultural representation. This “one fits all” approach to space, identity, and interior design was borrowed from European style movements such as Swiss Design and International Style. Clean, sterile, and straight to the point, these movements eliminated all cultural references. Almost one hundred years of aesthetic sanitizing has left travelers with spaces, brands, and way-finding systems devoid of personality and warmth. In my thesis work, I recreate international airport logos, waiting areas, and signage for three airports in Germany, Russia and the United States. My goal is to help these airports function better as visual cultural ambassadors by incorporating design elements drawn from cultural representation of each country, expressed through art and iconography.

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