The Different Approach Toward Social Centrifugal and Social Centripetal Designed Public Seating in International Airports


Pei-Chih Deng and Meng-Cong Zheng


P1. Walking, navigating and waiting

Date and Time

2014-06-16, 12:00 - 13:45


MA 10
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From the Universal Design’s point of view, effective public seating in airports should accord with equitable use and flexibility, cater to different sizes of passenger groups and provide size and space for easy access and use.

This study examines the departure lobby in Terminal 1 of Taoyuan International Airport and compares the pod-shaped seating of social centrifugal design and the Y-shaped seating of social centripetal design. Through unobtrusive observation, we recorded the number of groups, luggage, passengers’ postures and behaviors in both seating. Using behavioral linguistics to explain the significance of postures and behaviors to understand what seating passengers in international airport need.

The results of the study showed that often one to two people occupy pod-shaped seating and they tend to rest for a longer period of time. Behavior wise, the occupying passengers sleep or gaze more, they are also in more relaxed postures, such as stretching out their legs and reclining on the chair. The passengers in this kind of area mainly use handheld luggage, which are often placed on the seats or on their suitcases. On the contrary, the Y-shaped seating are often occupied by two or more passengers for a shorter period of time. As it is used more often, passengers tend to be in nervous postures, such as leaning forward and closing their legs. As more luggage carts and backpack are placed around Y-shaped seating and the lack of back rests, passengers will place their backpacks behind them to adjust the space between them and the others. The two seating have their pros and cons, if Y-shaped seating can add backrests and the pod-shaped seating can increase the amount of clusters, passengers will have a more pleasant experience using the airport’s public seating.