Creating simulated environments is becoming increasingly popular, especially when used in public spaces.

Simulation is often about evoking the feel of a particular place not through use of virtual reality, but with lighting and layout. The definition of the term – according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary – is to create something that is made to “look, feel, or behave like something else”.

These principles are being applied to public places and locations within hectic environments, such as the Air France lounge at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.

By using lamps shaped like trees, chairs designed to mimic the appearance of long, flat rocks and a dark green floor, it’s hoped this simulated forest can provide a relaxing environment for busy travellers between flights.

“The challenge was to create a pleasant, bright space that performs multiple functions – from dining and working to relaxing and sleeping,” designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance told Co.Design.

“The feeling of freedom in a structured, designed envelope was the goal.”

In addition, the layout is designed to give each user privacy through use of small walls located next to the seat.

This new lounge would certainly be an improvement over the current majority of airport lounges, which involve row upon row of uncomfortable seating. The same principles can be applied to aircraft themselves, with lighting in aisle and ceiling changing depending on time of day. For example, the morning may be a warm orange, while evening may be a dark blue.

Simulation could substantially change many of the environments people have become accustomed to over recent years. Looking to the earlier work of museums and art installations would appear to be the best way to approach the issue simulated environments.

Following the implementation of the Charles de Gaulle forest lounge in Paris, others could follow in the near future.

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