Friday 18 November 2016


You know the interior decorating rules for airports:
-       No colour. Stick to gray and black. White allowed where grubby fingers can’t reach it.
-       No soft surfaces. Stick to tile and metal.
-       Super-sized electronic advertisements for luxury goods, in the best of taste.

What can you say in favour of airport décor? It’s impeccable. This is minimalism at its grandest. Wait. Can you use “minimalism” and “grand” in the same sentence?

What possible objections could you have to airport decor?  It’s soulless. People seem sadly out of place, messing up the clean outlines. This is the home of robots.

How do you compensate for the cold esthetics?  With soulful sound effects.  You ride in the sleek, gray, silent shuttle between terminals and suddenly there it is, coming at you over the PA system: the clanging of cow bells, a contented moo, canned yodeling. No, I’m not making this up.

But come to think of it: Why not the sound of cuckoo clocks?

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