Web Article
Air Nationalism: Norman Foster and Fernando Romero’s Mexico City Airport

As air travel increasingly compresses our muscles and nerves—cue threats of thrombosis and incidents of passenger rage—airports expand their programs, taking up increasingly larger swaths of land. These programs, inflated by extensive security protocols and ambitious retail spaces, are usually arranged under sculptural canopies, like extra weight tucked under additional layers of clothing. Anthropologist Marc Augé famously described airports as “non-places,” generic spaces of transience that resist the rootedness of memory.1 However, the increase in border security has turned Augé’s description upside down. As the architecture that often constitutes a country’s first point of entry, airports are borders, and as such have become loaded with cultural and patriotic tropes. This nationalist anxiety hides the real politics of the expanded airport program.

Title
Publication TypeWeb Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsLeón AMaría
Series TitleThe Avery Review
Access Year2014
PublisherOffice of Publications, Columbia GSAPP
CityNew York
Abstract

As air travel increasingly compresses our muscles and nerves—cue threats of thrombosis and incidents of passenger rage—airports expand their programs, taking up increasingly larger swaths of land. These programs, inflated by extensive security protocols and ambitious retail spaces, are usually arranged under sculptural canopies, like extra weight tucked under additional layers of clothing. Anthropologist Marc Augé famously described airports as “non-places,” generic spaces of transience that resist the rootedness of memory.1 However, the increase in border security has turned Augé’s description upside down. As the architecture that often constitutes a country’s first point of entry, airports are borders, and as such have become loaded with cultural and patriotic tropes. This nationalist anxiety hides the real politics of the expanded airport program.

URLhttp://averyreview.com/issues/2/air-nationalism