Artist Compiles Aerial Photos of World’s Airports on Tumblr

All those long lines look lovely from 30,000 feet.

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Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. Photo: Holding Pattern.
Lauren O'Neill Holding Pattern
London Heathrow Airport. Photo via Holding Pattern.
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Photo: Holding Pattern.
Boston Logan International Airport. Photo: Holding Pattern.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Photo: Holding Pattern.
Zurich Airport. Photo: Holding Pattern.
San Francisco International Airport. Photo: Holding Pattern.
Raivavae Airport. Photo: Holding Pattern.
Chicago O'Hare Airport. Photo: Holding Pattern.
Luxembourg Findel Airport. Photo: Holding Pattern.

Normally, we dread going to airports—waiting is inevitable, you’re scared your luggage will get lost, and you’re about to spend hours in a high-speed sardine can. But New York-based artist and graphic designer Lauren O’Neill has found a new, relaxing way to look at airports, the Independent reports.

After living under flight paths in Washington DC and New York and rarely flying as a child, O’Neill has tried to make the most of her airport experiences as she got older. While waiting for a flight three years ago, she came up with an idea for a Tumblr blog—Holding Pattern. “I was watching the cargo cars, and all the different vehicles—this flurry of activity outside—and I thought I’d love to see it from overhead.”

Copenhagen Airport. Photo: Holding Pattern.

Copenhagen Airport.
Photo: Holding Pattern.

Now 27, O’Neill began looking up airports with Google Maps. “I noticed patterns, but the lines on the ground were different on each, and the geography also affected the structure,” she told the Independent. “I found the design of the airports was even informed by the culture of the place. At Copenhagen Airport, for instance, you can see the Danish design sensibility: very organized, very clear, very functional.” Madrid’s structure, on the other hand, is true to its Spanish roots—circular with not many clearly defined pathways.

Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport. Photo: Holding Pattern.

Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport.
Photo: Holding Pattern.

Using Google imagery isn’t a novel idea—famously, Montreal-based artist Jon Rafman’s project 9 Eyes of Google Street View compiles bizarre yet beautiful images captured by Google’s Street View cars as they drive around the world. But after several requests from fans for postcards and prints, O’Neill is considering hiring a commercial satellite to take her own aerial shots. In the interim, she will continue with the blog, posting whenever she is craving a trip somewhere.


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