Moment Factory, art at Shinjuku Station in Tokyo

Moment Factory,

Moment Factory,

Tokyo, Japan,



Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, the busiest transportation hub in the world, is the context in which the latest project conceived by Moment Factory is inserted, a Montreal-based multimedia studio with an office in Japan. The Colour Bath installation offers visitors a colour immersion, for moments of serene wonder and tranquility in the daily infrastructure routine.

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Moment Factory, art at Shinjuku Station in Tokyo
How can you transform a place of passage, of commutation, characterised by a frenetic pace, into one that actually gives something back to those who pass by or stop there, albeit briefly? Especially if the place in question is Shinjuku, in Tokyo, one of the largest and busiest train stations in the world and one of the main transport points for commuters in the frantic Japanese metropolis. Here, an estimated 3.7 million commuters crowd into the 39 tracks and the unmanageable network of corridors and stairs on a daily basis.
So how can we better organise this frenzy and improve the quality perceived by users? With art and by relying on professionals. The East Japan Railway Company thus commissioned Moment Factory, experts in optimising high-volume transport hubs that place the focus on the passenger experience, with the support of Sony Music Solution Inc. , to develop a flagship multimedia installation for the station's busy East-West passageway.
This is how The Colour Bath was conceived, an installation which, inspired by the many facets of Shinjuku and relying on the use of technology and colour, transforms this 100-metre-long and less than 25-metre-wide space into a truly unique and harmonious environment. The designers explain their intervention in a space further congested by a mosaic of orientation, emergency and advertising messages, all factors that the Moment Factory teams had to take into account and integrate into the design of the multimedia ecosystem: "a combination of light, sound, video, and scenography combine to envelop commuters in sensorial serenity, putting them at ease while still encouraging the continuous flow of pedestrian traffic. A series of more than 24 unique colour bath moments evoke the seasonal and diverse story of the region's distinct culture, reimagining the tunnel as a beacon of Shinjuku pride."
Amy Chartrand, Creative Director at Moment Factory continues: "We created a colour bath that synchronises all media surfaces in the space and surrounds visitors in colourful hues, one after the other, creating a calming experience, but also infusing a bit of wonder into people's days."
Yet it was precisely this aspect of wonder that presented a big challenge for the designers, as traffic jams caused by people who stop to watch had to be avoided in order to maintain a continuous circulation flow. Moment Factory therefore developed custom ambient content with the aim of "infusing the passageway with flowing energy".
The Colour Bath thus presents a unique and thoughtful combination of audiovisual elements which, however, do not transform a typical urban non-place into a stopping place. Precisely as it should be as the purpose of this section of railway underpasses is precisely to ensure the optimal flow of passengers. Yet this passageway has been successfully mitigated and embellished, illustrating the great potential of creativity in the context of public places. As Minori Osawa, Director of JR-East's Lifestyle Division explains: "I believe we have been able to create a user experience that not only provides a sense of warmth and positivity, considering today’s sense of anxiety, but also conveys the goodness of Shinjuku and the value of the area to everyone who passes through."
The multimedia installation gained national recognition by winning the Grand Prix at the 2021 Digital Signage Awards.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: Moment Factory with Sony Music Solution Inc.
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Year: 2022
Images: Moment Factory