october 17-19,2016


As part of the official collateral events of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, AERIAL FUTURES: GROUNDED VISIONS, Shaping the Airport Terminal of Tomorrow was a two-day symposium that took place from October 17th to 19th, 2016. The symposium brought together diverse voices in a discussion about the future of air travel, as seen through the lenses of architecture, design, technology, culture and user experience.


Keynote I:
Curtis Fentress, Founder & Principal, Fentress Architects
Tuesday, october 18th, 2016


Fantastic Infrastructure: 21st Century Terminals                                  TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18TH, 2016

We are all familiar with current terminal paradigms, from Arrivals to Departures and all of the complex spatial gymnastics in between. What do advances in technology and contemporary demands on air travel infrastructure mean for the terminals of the future - and how do past projects inform current trajectories?

Christian Henriksen, Nordic Office for Architecture
Jonathan Ledgard, The Droneport Project / EPFL Lausanne
Dr. Wayne Place, NC State University College of Design
Ashok Raiji, Arup New York

Moderated by Donald Albrecht, Museum of the City of New York


Icons and Engines: Catalysts for Urban Transformation

The 21st century has seen an increase in high profile terminals that act as economic engines and emblematic portals for cities. In an era of global competition between cities – in addition to nations – superior airports have a significant influence. Development –and redevelopment– play a critical role defining the urban and even regional dynamics beyond the airport. How can a single building have cultural, economic and political implications?

Anna Gasco, ETH Zurich / Future Cities Laboratory
Max Hirsh, University of Hong Kong
Alex Sutton, Sevil Peach Architecture + Design
Andrew Vasey, Vasey Aviation Group

Moderated by Andres F. Ramirez, PLANE—SITE                


Keynote: Nelly Ben Hayoun, NBH Studios


Getting to Departures: User Experience                        

Architecture facilitates the intricate transition between airspace and passengers’ much anticipated destinations. Moving through time and space in airport terminals is still often perceived as more of an obstacle than an enjoyable experience. As interaction with terminal infrastructure  increases in frequency and engagement, airports can offer travelers choices to relieve the stress of travel. How should architects balance functional design, digital interfaces, place specificity and comfort to heighten user experiences across the board?

Frank Barich, Barich Consulting
Tom Theobald, Fentress Architects
Sila Siva, Autoban
Martin Zangerl, UNStudio

Moderated by George Kafka, &beyond collective 


Landing in the World of Tomorrow                            

A bit of speculation is essential when we consider the future of airports. Trends and demographic shifts may help forecast the future of air travel and infrastructure. If change is constant on all are fronts, what are the critical considerations when projecting future scenarios? How will architecture adapt to transformations in the aviation industry and the culture of global travel over the next century?

Miklos Deri, Drive Through Airport
Agatha Kessler, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Tobias Nolte, Certain Measures
Ostap Rudakevych, Clouds Architecture Office

Moderated by Lukas Feireiss, Studio Lukas Feireiss


download THE 2016 symposium's CONFERENCE PROGRAM and press release.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of our donors, 
THIS symposium was offered free of charge.