I have been asked a lot of times- “Out of all the hotels you’ve explored during your #SingTravels Adventures, which one is your favorite so far?” You see, this is a tough question to answer as each and every hotel I’ve stayed in has its own distinct charm.
However, there really is something special about small boutique hotels that make my heart flutter every time I discover and explore one. A good example of this is Play Design Hotel located in the heart of Taipei, Taiwan.Play Design Hotel is not your typical hotel. It is an avenue that promotes and merges 2 industries together: Design+ Hotel. It serves as a platform that connects local designers to international market and foreign visitors to local design culture.
To let you understand the hotel’s concept and advocacy better, let me tour you around its 5 unique rooms.ROOM 501- GUEST SELECTION ROOM
True to its name, this room is designed based on the guests’ own selections and choices of furniture and design.
When reserving this room online, guests are requested to pick their own choice of furniture and then decide where they want these to be placed in the room.
My masterpiece. The aspiring interior designer in me is so happy to experience this interactive “Design Your Own Room” activity. That precious feeling of seeing my vision turning into a reality.
All the furniture displayed in their rooms are designed by local Taiwanese artists and are on sale.
With this, Play Design Hotel believes that for visitors to fully appreciate these masterpiece, they should not only be “viewed” ala museum style but instead, should be physically touched, used, and experienced.
This bench might look uncomfortable at first sight but believe me, once you sit on it, it feels as if you’re sitting on a soft flat surface!
<Item Name: RU-ST007; Designer: RÜSKASA>
Breaking the convention of having four straight legs, this super stable three-legged coffee table brings a modern twist on the way we welcome guests.
<Item Name: Tricycle Coffee Table; Designer: Ji Shih>
When I first saw these, I was like “How do you the turn the lights on and off since the switch was no where to be found ?” With LED and touch control inside the rectangular wood-frame, this artwork is able to elegantly show the trick play of lights.
<Item Name: Square LED AG006; Designer: Meta Design’s Anurak Suchat>
Designing this room was like playing The Sims (but better because you get to experience it in real life!)
The tiny sliding door leads to a spacious restroom.
Would you believe that even the pendant lamp by the upper left corner is also customizable through the “Design Your Own Room” app? Super cool and hardworking, right?
Yup, you guessed it right! Relevant small details, like this clock, are artworks of local master craftsment as well.
<Item Name: Moon x Clock-Wolf ; Designer: haoshi design>
Loved my instagrammable workstation! Glad to see that the table, chair, and desk lamp I individually chose looked good when put together.
<(1) TABLE- Item Name: Chic Desk; Designer: Strauss | (2) CHAIR– Item Name: Muse Armchair; Designer: SITPLS | (3) TABLE LAMP- Item Name: Laito Wood; Designer: SEEDDESIGN’s Chen, Chao Cheng>Time to put those creative juices to work!
ROOM 502- PLAY MAGIC ROOM
Next up is the Play Magic Room where guests are brought into a world of innovation in which design marries technology!This is the reception area upon entering the room.To the right is the spacious restroom……with full amenities, even including washing machine!This notebook has all the instructions on how to play and explore the magic design pieces scattered all around the room.Floating UFO-like LampFloating PenThis is probably everyone’s favorite magic piece in this room.A lamp that turns on when you aim and shoot at it with the gun! How cool is that?Love this artsy hanging lamp! And yes, it’s also an art piece for sale.
<Item Name: Random; Designer: studio if>Everywhere you look, you’ll get an instant instagrammable frame! The ladder-like coat rack on the left really do give a special accent to the room.
<Item Name: LADDER Coat Rack; Designer: YTDS>Abracadabra! Time to play some magic.
ROOM 503- MIT 3.0 ROOM
I wasn’t able to stay in this room as it was occupied during my trip so… Here’s a borrowed photo from Play Design Hotel’s website to show you how it looks like inside.It is important to note that manufacturing process is a critical process of design. This room provides an opportunity for guests to experience first-hand the traditional Taiwanese crafts and natural materials and let them understand the origin + roots of the artworks in a deeper context.
ROOM 505- MAKER ROOM
You might be wondering why we skipped Room “504”… Play Design Hotel doesn’t carry such room as #4 is considered an unlucky number in the Chinese culture.Old shoe moulds turned into night light lamp = awesome idea!
<Item Name: Shoe Mould Lamp; Designer: Luminant><Item Name: Mushroom Lamp; Designer: Atelier Liu Hsuantzu>What is a ‘Maker Movement’? Digital manufacturing, 3-D printings, Robot Production are some examples of this phenomenon revolutionizing the design industry all over the world.Here in this room, guests get a chance to be like one of the ‘Maker Movement’ designers and bring their imaginations into practice by finding the right tools. This retro light has got to be my favorite art piece in this room.
<Item Name: No LF001; Designer: No.5 work room>And the most interesting piece award in this room goes to… the map behind my bed! You think it’s just a normal colourful piece of artwork? Think again. This is the Taipei Makers Map, illustrated by nicaslife. It is actually an interactive scannable map which enables guests to know where to actually see and visit the shops of ‘hidden makers designers’ all over Taipei.Time to join in the movement!
ROOM 506- PLAY TEA ROOM
Tea plays a big role in the Taiwanese culture. It is a basic item in a Taiwanese household as the standard greetings given to any guests upon visiting is “Come in and have some tea.”Can you see the digital signage mounted on the upper right of the wall? That one exhibits tea shops recommended by Play Design Hotel. The high quality of Taiwan tea reflects not only the geography and climate of the island, but also of the unique history of the people behind the production of this drink.You can watch video clips on tea making details from the digital frame on the desk.In this room, Play Design Hotel collaborated with a Taiwanese Tea Brand named Eightyeight Tea for travelers to try on a wide variety of tea flavors.Take part in an interesting activity wherein guests are challenged to enjoy the different flavors of tea……and share their ideas and feelings on the given card ala tea connoisseur. Time to appreciate the merging of 2 beautiful culture of Taiwan: Design x Tea.
To summarize, Play Design Hotel is a 3-dimensional publication where people get to immerse and experience the designers’ works in a multi sensorial format (and not just reading them through papers). What’s exciting about this is that such concept innovation transforms the hotel into an experimental platform which could be comprehended and interpreted in endless possible ways by the guests.Amazing Concept + Cool Advocacy + Perfect Execution= Super Memorable Stay. I would definitely go back here as I’m one with them in discovering and supporting new up and coming Taiwanese designers (and experience their one-of-a-kind masterpiece, first hand.)PLAY DESIGN HOTEL, TAIWAN