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Changi Airport Terminal 4: Behind the Service Design Award

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4 was awarded the P*DA’s Design of the Year 2018 for its innovative redesign of the airport experience. Through the collection of yearly feedback from staff and passengers that amounted to more than a million every month, Terminal 4 is the realisation of these learnings.

From the check-in process to the washrooms, Changi Airport Terminal 4 brings the Changi experience to another level – perhaps setting the expectations for the upcoming Terminal 5 even higher.

After all, it is believed that airports will no longer be a place for transportation but more of a lifestyle destination. Besides elements such as minimal noise to ease a stressful traveller’s experience, there are other considerations to further enhance the experience of travel.

These are the features that make Terminal 4 different from other airports:

What makes Changi Airport Terminal 4 an award-winning service design?

1. Singular coherent design

– Triangular motif inspired by the orchid
– Colours follow an earthy palette with clusters of bright colours to brighten up the place
– Cohesive design follows through the entire terminal, including the carpet, seating and Petalcloud installation

2. Organic traffic flow management

– Use of subconscious design tools, such as gentle waves and curves on the ground to guide passengers – managing traffic flow organically
– These are found at high-traffic areas like check-in kiosks and the transit area

Fun fact: Bag drop kioks have face-screening technology to match passengers to their passport photos, eliminating the need for airport security staff and reducing queues.

3. Digital enhancements
– Interactive digital screens are placed throughout the terminal
– Retains interactivity and gives passengers a seamless experience
– FAST (Fast And Seamless Travel) self-service check-in and bag-drop kiosks raise efficiency while improving the passenger experience

Fun fact: Problems and feedback from visitors in the washrooms trigger an immediate response from the cleaning personnel. This reduces manpower needs while maintaining service standards.

4. Heritage zone
– Peranakan shophouse designs ranging from Baroque to Modern times occupy local shops
– Local heritage elements are injected to distinctly differentiate Terminal 4 from other international terminals
– Regular screenings of ‘Peranakan Love Story’ directed by Dick Lee entertain passengers in the area

5. Space maximisation
– All spaces have more than one use and seems bigger spatially with the see through walls, natural light and high ceilings
– Few barriers are erected between flight gates to ensure flexibility and adaptability of space to accommodate all flight sizes and frequencies

On 25 January 2019, the P*DA team organised an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour to take participants to Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4. One of our participants, Choy Yun Zhen, a UX Design Researcher at Minitheory created an interesting journal-style graphic to capture her learning points of the tour. So do check it out below or alternatively visit her LinkedIN profile here!

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4 received the P*DA 2018 Design of the Year. To find out more about the winning project, click here!



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