The airport as a disciplinary device for mobility control [El aeropuerto como dispositivo disciplinar para el control de la movilidad]
(2021) Kepes, 18 (24), pp. 11-45.
Since the 9/11 attacks, airports have become control and surveillance devices only comparable to maximum security prisons. For this reason, most of the studies dedicated to airports have experienced a progressive affinity with the works of Michel Foucault and Paul Virilio in which architecture is characterized as a paradigmatic technique to organize space (compartmentalization) and time (distribution of sequences) in order to achieve the individualization, classification, ordering and normalization of the users. This article aims at identifying the main spatial strategies through which airports implement disciplinary control of passengers independently of their formal-compositional style, their sociophenomenological aesthetics and/or the introduction of electronic surveillance devices. To do this, a methodology based on the graphic analysis (ground plan and section) of five small airports projected in the same territorial area (State) and in a homogeneous time period was developed with the double objective of not having substantial changes in the legislation applicable or in the development of new building, control and surveillance technologies that may affect the basic design of their spatial organization. The results obtained show the constant presence of a linear and hierarchical spatial organization consisting of the succession “entrycheck- in-control of people-shopping-boarding” independently of any other possible aesthetic, phenomenological or social consideration of the designed space. This is opposed to those analyzes carried out in the last two decades that prioritize the rhizomatic, connective and non-hierarchical character of the airport space over its segmentation and disciplinary hierarchy. The article concludes by highlighting the totalitarian character that control of (air) mobility has acquired in the 21st century. © 2021 Universidad de Caldas. All rights reserved.
Airport architecture; Control of people; Michel Foucault; Paul Virilio; Surveillance