Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Living in the parking lot of LAX

Thanks to Bruce Sterling for pointing us towards this facinating story about a community of airline workers living in the parking lot of Los Angeles International.

As Bruce Sterling points out: "What’s really surprising is the drifter community that nucleated there and had to be chased off. Makes one wonder who would dwell in the parking lots of *abandoned* airports. Whoever they were, they’d be reading a lot of JG Ballard."

Monday, 13 July 2009

Sneak peak: Facelift for LAX Theme Building

First look at the refurubished Theme Building at LAX (above). It has been under wraps since a great, half-ton section of stucco crashed to the floor in March 2007. The iconic building is finally shedding the web of scaffolding in preparation for a relaunch in the fall.

Since the early 60s the Theme Building has been celebrated for its Jetson-like styling and its long, arching, parabolic legs. The building has been under wraps since it the accident, although the famous Encounter Restaurant has since reopened. We hope that the rooftop platform, which has been closed since 9/11 for security reasons, will also be open to the public.

We like the Theme Building. It's a fine example of an architectual style known as "Googie" or "Populuxe", once memorably described by William Gibson as "raygun gothic" thanks to its retro-futuristic styling.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Japanese airport trials 'personal mobility vehicles'

A Japanese airport has taken delivery of several futuristic people movers, allowing airline staff and security guards to patrol the ticket halls and baggage areas in some style.

A quartet of three-wheeled "i-Reals" have been put into service at Chubu Airport in Tokoname City, Japan. The three-wheeled vehicles, manufactured by Toyota, have a top speed of 15kph and a range of 30km. A combination of right- and left-hand levers control movement: pushing the sticks accelerate the i-Real - pulling them back slows it down.

According to tech site The Register, one of the I-Real's has been fitted with a medical kit, including a defibrillator, and a PC that passengers can use to check-in for their flights.