Beijing Airport


Zaha Hadid Architects


Beijing, China


Sensing Places Interactive contributed interactive installations, concepts, technical master planning, sensing, and computer vision.

Case Study

Collaborating with Zaha Hadid Architects, Sensing Places Interactive designed multiple elements to enhance the typical airport experience and help guide weary travelers around the world’s second busiest airport.

One of the designs included a mobile application that uses augmented reality to translate signage in various languages. Our technology interacts with the airport’s digital network to provide each traveler with current flight information and personalized pathways based on gate location and travel time. The application also generated business by prompting relevant shopping discounts for many of the stores and retailers in the airport.

We also created a signature interactive LED lighting sculpture using an intricate variation of colored dot patterns to visually communicate the various travelers circulating throughout the space. The sculpture is animated by slow and fluid animations that constantly appear to reshape it. Color effects are dynamically triggered by the constant passage of people through the space, detected via our proprietary computer vision software system.

This work resulted from Hadid’s wish for a large scale digital chandelier as the centerpiece of a massive space.

The concept was enhanced using a digital skin. Periodically, selected areas were illuminated with a bluish tint to reflect sunny daylight, a green-forest coloring to liven gray days, and red or purple mood lighting to indicate the evening. Weather sensors placed along the outer perimeter of the facility worked in tandem with the natural environment. This enhanced the typically/normally weary airport environment into a vibrant and pleasant experience.

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