Developing a Modular System
I took my floorplan concepts to users and stakeholders to see if I was on the right track. One of the parts of my concept I wanted to explain was the idea of having modular components that could drop in/out, and what those components should or could be. I created quick sketches of the elements, from basic lounge seating and worksurfaces to more off-the-wall ideas like bunk beds and jungle gyms.
While the crazier ideas sparked conversation, users did not respond very positively to the idea of encountering jungle gyms or a floors covered in padding when they could choose more traditional lounge seating. It's not that they didn't want to try out the adult jungle gym, but that they did not feel that the airport was the best place to introduce it. Most said they were exhausted and just wanted to sit and decompress while they could, instead of trying to adapt and understand atypical furniture in an exhausting environment.
Learning that people were seeking simple, friendly furniture aligns with my initial "jumping off" point. My goal is to create furniture that is "as ignorable as it is interesting." Learning that passengers just wanted a simple space that accommodated their needs was a good reminder that it's good to create stretch concepts to spark conversation, but that the context of the design is critical to its success.