Heathrow launches writer-in-residence

19 Aug 2009 by Mark Caswell

Passengers travelling through Heathrow this week may end up being immortalised in a book about the airport, thanks to a collaboration between BAA and Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton.

BAA has commissioned de Botton to write a book looking at a week in the life of Heathrow, with staff and passengers appearing as characters within the story.

De Botton is researching the book from a desk within T5, and has been given access to all areas of the airport during his time there. Entitled A Week At The Airport: A Heathrow Diary, the book will be published in September, with 10,000 copies also being given away for free to Heathrow passengers.

It’s not the first time De Botton has examined the theme of travel in his work – in 2003 he published The Art of Travel, a look at the  philosophy of travel. Commenting on this latest commission, De Botton said:

“I have always found airports mesmerising. If you wanted to take a Martian to a single place that best captures everything that is distinctive and particular to modern civilisation, in its highs and lows, you would undoubtedly take them to the airport. This is where you can see in action all the big themes that we otherwise know just as abstractions: the power of technology, globalisation, the environmental debate, consumerism, the frenzy of the modern workplace and the dreams of travel.”

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Report by Mark Caswell

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BTUK June 2018
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