In Changi Airport’s newly built Terminal 4, experiential design studio Moment Factory translates trompe l'oeil into multimedia architecture, responding to the shifting landscape of retail and travel with engaging and surprising digital storytelling.

From optical illusions to culturally meaningful cinema, the Montreal-based studio created a variety of ‘content capsules’ that take ambient entertainment and the airport experience in new directions. Considerate of Changi’s traffic levels – the international airport manages one flight every 80 seconds – each content capsule is guided by its local environment as well as its wider cultural context. The large-scale digital media installations developed in partnership with AV company Electronics & Engineering, and LED supplier Nanolumens, include an expansive 70-m-wide and 5-m-tall screen located above the security screening area, where seven different panoramic content capsules transport travellers to far-off worlds, even as they stand in a crowded queue.

Entering the terminal area, a row of whimsically pastel traditional Peranakan ‘shophouse’ façades hold a hidden love story. Moment Factory installed an integrated 10-m-by-6-m screen within the architectural façades, with the virtual lighting of the scene perfectly calibrated to the ambient lighting conditions of the space in order to activate the trompe l’oeil effect.

Airports are already spaces of transition – indeterminate environments that are often overlooked and taken for granted in a traveller’s journey and experience of new places. Travel is also primarily led by digital experiences, as people around the world search for flights, accommodation and destination inspiration on rectangular screens. Moment Factory synergizes the experience of airports and of digital technology into a cohesive physical and imaginative transportation platform.