Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.” Steve Jobs 

The late great Steve Jobs always understood how design is not about surface decoration; it goes much deeper into our lives, writes The Design Solution Director Robbie Gill. After all, Apple has moved way beyond simply being a brand, it’s a lifestyle – a lifestyle shared by millions of people across the world.

The beauty of Apple design is combined with the exceptional power of its functionality – it’s beautiful and, even more importantly, it works beautifully. As a design specialist working with airports, retailers and brands across the world I know that, while every client wants a beautiful outcome, they need a commercial return too. For me, the true beauty and effectiveness of design is that it can combine aesthetic beauty with commercial bite.

In a new series of monthly articles with The Moodie Davitt Report, we’re going to delve below the surface of design and explore how it not only enhances the airport passenger experience but also helps drive customer engagement and commercial performance.

For airports, retailers and brands the design of the airport environment (including every stage of the passenger journey) is a key influence on the passenger’s perception of the airport experience, which, in turn, directly impacts their propensity to spend time and money at the airport. From retail and restaurants to lighting and lounges, we want to share and celebrate the successes that are defining the airport experience in the 21st century.

TDS March 2017 - Brand Insight

It’s all about the experience: good design brings a physicality that the internet cannot match

Each month we will take a specialist look at a specific aspect of design in the airport environment, with an emphasis on how it influences the traveller, particularly with regard to retail behaviour and customer satisfaction.

Our design themes will include Terminals/Lounges, Digital, Lighting, Products, Furniture, Store Display, F&B, Wayfinding, Advertising  Customisation, Nature and Seasonality. Notwithstanding Steve Jobs’ emphasis on looking beyond the surface, ‘the look’ is a powerful contributor so our series will focus very strongly on visual impact too.

We’ll also look beyond our industry at how the best of the domestic sector are addressing design and we’ll have guest contributors to provide a deeper specialist insight, including Matthew Brown of Echo Chamber, pioneers in tracking the power of retail design. You can get involved too by sharing your own favourites with us.

By sharing some of the best working examples from across the world I hope we can develop a stronger industry dialogue on the importance of design and celebrate the outstanding locations, operators and brands that are raising the airport experience.

 – Robbie Gill, Founder & Managing Director, The Design Solution