Alert but not alarmed: Colour coding the in/securities of airport mobilities

Dr Kaya Barry1, Ms Diti Bhattacharya1

1Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia


Wayfaring designs organise movement through transit spaces using representational cues embedded in the architecture, lighting, colour, and signage. This is exemplified in airports where colour coding is universalised though stringent OH&S regulations that dictate how and where travelling publics can and should move. ‘Right’ and ‘wrong’ mobilities are communicated through reds, greens, and fluorescent oranges, priming individuals to be alert of their position and movements at all times. Compounding this are the restrictions for certain bodies and nationalities who attract closer scrutiny, where heavy surveillance and increased securitisation that accentuate the representations of global mobilities. Drawing on experiences of passing through borders in Auckland and Copenhagen airports, the paper analyses how colour extenuates and heightens alertness, vigilance, and compliance with expected mobility behaviours. We propose that colour coding standards curate atmospheres of in/securities and performances of mobile identities, further universalising the ‘travelling public’.


Kaya Barry is an artist-geographer and current Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Griffith University, Brisbane. Research interests include mobilities, migration, creative arts, air travel, aesthetics, materiality, and tourist practices.

About provides delegate registration, website and app solutions, and financial management for conferences, conventions and scientific meetings.

Terms & Conditions

All registrations and bookings are subject to our standard term and conditions.

Contact Us

Please contact the team at with any questions regarding the conference.
© 2017 - 2020 Conference Design Pty Ltd. is a division of Conference Design Pty Ltd.