Designing a better living room
I don't want to exploit the displeasure of others, but I am hopeful that the recent chaos in the air travel space will lead to some beneficial self-examination by airline execs and better experiences for all of us.
Somewhere in time, almost every space where people collect to work, to find entertainment, to live, to travel, an argument about cost savings has driven every consideration of purpose and pleasure out. People used to go to work to achieve good things but were housed in high-walled cubicles and made to feel that interaction with others is counter-productive. Now, they're working from Starbucks. People sit on the couch at home rather than experience the mess, distractions, and discomfort of theaters. Social behaviors erode. People are crammed into tiny seats, with no legroom and in competition for an arm rest on always-delayed and overbooked flights. Now they're rioting at airports.
Perhaps we've come to a turning point. Perhaps the accumulation of stories of bad experiences, and perhaps the "disruption" of higher quality experiences are the front edge of a return to civility and socialization. Perhaps we'll find that it really is much better to be in places where others are, to interact in places other than a screen, to feel good, to enjoy places, spaces and people in the wider world.
It's a matter of design, of quality, of human dimension, of civic space.