Elsewhere is a Final Year Project (FYP) submitted to the School of Art, Design & Media, Nanyang Technological University for the Degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications.
Identifying a Gap
High property prices meant that many young adults still live with their parents until they acquire enough financial freedom. Differing attitudes about premarital sex between the older and younger generations results in unmarried individuals seeking alternative intimate spaces. Current alternative intimate spaces for Singapore’s young adults are not ideal. Student housing and public spaces face limitations such as the fear of interruption, and the lack of resources to explore sexual kinks and fantasies in-depth. Hotels are costly, and more affordable budget motels also have a pre-conceived image of sleaze due to their association with the red-light district. However, most importantly, none of these spaces are specially designed for intimacy.
Elsewhere hopes to highlight a gap overlooked in the slowly but steadily developing sexual landscape in Singapore — the availability of safe and courteous spaces with a primarily sexual function. It is an understated yet a crucial aspect in supporting a more progressive societal mindset to embrace and normalise sexuality.
A Fictional Design Concept
Initially, my intentions were to create a feasible love hotel concept as a practical solution for the lack of intimate space in the context of present-day Singapore. However, there are bureaucratic regulations in place in Singapore that would deter these proposed design solutions. Furthermore, the lack of business and architectural knowledge means I would not be able to accurately address business concerns, design physically sound structures, or understand the technical specificities of interior design. Therefore, Elsewhere is a creative imaginative project birthed from the current improbability of realistic intimate space design solutions.
A Title and a Visual Structure
The name Elsewhere was chosen for the ambiguity of its definition. Defined as “another place”, Elsewhere allows for the hypothetical possibilities needed in this project. Due to the significance of this word, the structure of the love hotel is based on geometric skeletons of its individual glyphs. There are nine different types of spaces in Elsewhere, one for each alphabet. These nine structures form an abstract visual representation of the love hotel.
A System and Three Keywords
The nine rooms in Elsewhere are divided into three tiers, mimicking the system of a conventional hotel. One room from each tier corresponds to each of these three keywords: play, control, risk. These keywords are derived through organising and grouping kinks and fetishes, then dissecting them to the core. Play, control, risk effectively conveys the essence of a large selection of sexual desires.
Tier 1: Kink Studios
The design of Kink Studio rooms are inspired by the top three most voted kink preferences conducted in the survey*. These three most voted preferences are role play, dominance/submissive, and sex in public.
Tier 2: Core Chambers
The Core Chamber rooms are designed according to the aforementioned keywords. These rooms are designed by using space to effectively guide its users to create erotic fantasies and experiences with play, control, or risk as the focal point of their sexual exploration.
Tier 3: Kinkstallations
Due to the overwhelming popularity of the fantasy of having spontaneous sex with strangers amongst the respondents of the survey*, this tier was created to cater to that. The business framework of gay saunas and bathhouses was a point of reference for this space.
Kinkstallations are large facilities presenting settings where individuals can meet to have sexual activities within the space. The three chosen settings based on the keywords are: a playground setting, a bar setting, and a fitting room setting.
*I conducted an online survey in February of 2020, to find out the sexual preferences and kinks of young adults in Singapore. 136 responses were obtained in that survey, with a majority of respondents between the ages 21 – 29 years old.
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