Monday, 1 February 2010

Collection 100 Christmas Research (OUGD102)


After deducing that my topic to research over this project over Christmas was to be 'Airports', my immediate instinct was to spend a day researching at my local airport back in Loughborough, East Midlands Airport (EMA). As I realised that security may be an issue with me taking photographs and wandering around airport premises I sent an email to confirm my visit. This was the reply:

"Hi Pawel

Thanks for your interest in the airport.

We are always keen to help students with their studies where we can. You are welcome to take photographs in the check-in hall as long as you don't take any of secure areas and ask the permission of anyone whose face may appear in these images prior. If this is something which you wish to do, I would appreciate it if you could just let me know so that I can inform the relevant teams.

We would ask that you do not approach any passengers in the check-in hall as we have our own researchers who conduct interviews around the terminal. In terms of objects, again let me know the types of things that you are looking for and I will see how we can help.

To get good photographs of the runway and airfield operations, I suggest that you visit the airport Trail. The Trail is a six mile walk around the airport site. Parking is available at the EMA Aeropark (near Castle Donington). A map of the Trail can be found by visiting our web pages at

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Kind regards

Leonie Parkin"

So I went to EMA to collect what I could find and take as many relevant photographs as possible. On top of the objects I collected at EMA, I found objects of my own that would be associated with airports or traveling, i.e. things you might take on holiday. The objects were a good way of gauging a scope for where potential design could work in relation to what I have to produce for the project. It was very useful research.

I ended up lingering in the terminal for a while doing my research and then decided to circulate the entire 6 mile perimeter of the airport taking photos as I went. It was a nice walk.


Here are the objects I collected together:

Physically Collected Objects Relating to Airports

Along with these objects are the photos I took at the airport. After taking them I categorised them in order to develop some kind of order and sequence to start working with. Here are contact sheets of the photos in their relevant categories:

'Aircraft Photos'

'Objects - Indoors'

'Objects - Outdoors'



I also captured a coupe of videos on my walk. This is definitely a massively plane-spottery thing to have done but it is all nevertheless relevant research!


As the email above states, I was not allowed to approach passengers in order to gain my 100 opinions for the first part of this brief. To resolve this problem, I resulted in following the popular trend of sending out an internet survey via Facebook in order to get my opinions. I also gain opinions from family members and parents work colleagues. I attempted to cover a broad range of aspects in relation to airports. I asked 100 people the following questions:

All internet surveys were transferred by hand onto the physical questionnaires for convenience of counting to make statistics.

'Airport Questionnaire'

One all 100 questionnaires were collected I proceeded to categorise answers and develop statistics to potentially work with. Here were the most notable findings:

The following statistics were deduced from what people additionally wrote down on the questionnaire forms:

The statistics were an effective way of categoising my research as it grouped it and added direction and focus to the project. This was noted in a one on one mini crit between myself and Fred.


For collecting 100 facts I decided to discern some airport related categories to find facts to slot into. My intention then was to split the facts into quantitative and qualitative facts in the categories I had chosen. The categories I chose were:
  1. Airport Signage
  2. Airlines
  3. Planes
  4. Flying
  5. Passengers
  6. Luggage
  7. Security
  8. Environmental
  9. General Airport Facts
I mainly used the internet to collect my facts although some came from my own personal experience including my research trip to EMA to collect objects and take photos.

At risk of boring blog readers and for convenience of assessment, the categorised facts can be found in the project ring binder.

The facts were very helpful in understanding my topic more and generally opening up possible paths to follow in project development.


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