Design Process

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.

3hs-01

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.

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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.

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Private Rooms

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.

Kinkstallations

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.

References

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Alexander, M., Chen, C. C., Maclaren, A., & Ogorman, K. D. (2010). Love motels: oriental phenomenon or emergent sector? International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 22(2), 194–208. doi: 10.1108/09596111011018188

Au-Yong, R. (2018, February 14). Larger 3Gen HDB flats for multi-generation families popular, with 8 in 10 units booked. Retrieved from https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/housing/ larger-3gen-hdb-flats-for-multi-generation-families-popular-with-8-in-10-units

Awang, N., & Oh, T. (2019, October 28). Let's talk about safe sex: Sex education should go beyond preaching abstinence, say students and experts. Retrieved from https://www.today online.com/singapore/lets-talk-about-safe-sex-sex-education-should-go-beyond-preaching-abstinence-say-students

Basil, M. (2007). Japanese Love Hotels: Protecting Privacy For Private Encounters. 8, 505-510. Retrieved from https://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/13953/eacr/vol8/E-08

Chong, A. (2019, May 2). Singapore society still 'fairly conservative' but the young, educated more open towards homosexual issues: IPS. Retrieved from https://www.channelnewsasia .com/news/singapore/ips-survey-gay-homosexual-issues-conservative-society-11496758

Clark, T. (2013). Shunga: sex and pleasure in Japanese art. London: British Museum Press.

Cua, G. (2018, April 3). When red-light means go: Hotel 81 founder Choo Chong Ngen's entrepreneurial journey. Retrieved from http://www.sgsme.sg/news/towkays/when-red-light-means-go-hotel-81-founder-choo-chong-ngens-entrepreneurial-journey

Gay bathhouse. (2017, April 30). Retrieved from https://the-singapore-lgbt-encyclopaedia.wikia.org/wiki/Gay_bathhouse

Keybox - Singapore - Singapore - Spartacus Gay Sauna Guide -. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://spartacus.gayguide.travel/saunas/asia/singapore/singapore-stadt/84633_Keybox

Lee, E. (2019, October 23). The Harsh Reality Behind Why Couples In Singapore Still Have Staircase Sex. Retrieved from https://www.hypeandstuff.com/why-couples-have-staircase-sex-singapore/

Leong, K. (2018, June 26). 16 Extreme Spots in Singapore to Have Sex Because HDB Stairwells Are Too Basic. Retrieved from https://zula.sg/public-sex-singapore/

Mahrotri, P. T. (2018, December 14). Soaring House Prices Leave Singapore Millennials Stuck With the Folks. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-14/singapore-millennials-stuck-with-the-folks-as-home-prices-spiral

Perel, E. (2007). Of Flesh and Fantasy: In the Sanctuary of the Erotic Mind We Find a Direct Route to Pleasure. Mating in captivity: unlocking erotic intelligence. New York: Harper.

Perel, E. (2007). Putting the X Back in Sex: Bringing the Erotic Home. Mating in captivity: unlocking erotic intelligence. New York: Harper.

Yuen-C, T. (2019, May 3). Younger people more liberal than older respondents polled. Retrieved from https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/younger-people-more-liberal-than-older-respondents-polled

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