Media release: Cineleisure and LASALLE to open design incubator OPEN STUDIOS to encourage creative thinking

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29 November 2021
Media Release

Ever wonder how inventive design students come up with their creations? What are their thought processes and where do they get their inspiration from? Now, you can get your answers with the opening of an exciting design lab at Cineleisure.

OPEN STUDIOS is the first-ever partnership between Cineleisure and LASALLE College of the Arts, targeted at engaging the next generation of creatives as well as giving back to the community.

Located on Level 2, OPEN STUDIOS will serve as an unusual city campus for LASALLE students to develop their creative thinking outside the standard school setting, and for them to create relevant work in a real-life retail environment. At the same time, mall visitors will have the opportunity to witness creativity in action and be inspired.

This is aligned with Cineleisure’s plan for spaces in the malls to be used and reimagined by creatives while returning to their roots as a youth-focused mall in the 1990s.

A spokesperson for Cathay Organisation said: “Cineleisure started as a youth-centric mall in 1997. So, we very much hope we will be able to relive those days when the shopping experience was to quite simply, hang out, catch a movie, grab a bite and discover new concepts and friends.

“With this LASALLE collaboration, we hope we can serve as a thinking space for young creatives, together with their mentors, to create new works and reimagine the use of spaces outside their usual campus.”

Ms Nur Hidayah, Dean of the Faculty of Design at LASALLE, said: “As design educators, we hope to develop not only aesthetic and technical excellence in students but also for them to become confident and articulate advocates for the arts and design. Being engaged as practising designers beyond the classroom is integral to realising this potential. OPEN STUDIOS at Cineleisure is a perfect space for our students to be part of a wider creative community, co-create with non-designers and share their works with the public.”

Studio space designed by winning LASALLE team

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OPEN STUDIOS has been transformed by students from LASALLE’s School of Spatial & Product Design. Led by their lecturers, students have revamped the space into a versatile co-working space where they can brainstorm, run a retail corner and showcase their work. This allows for the interaction, intersection, intervention and interception of design ideas and approaches while encouraging varying disciplines and practices to be conceived and coalesced.

The design for OPEN STUDIOS was chosen from a student competition, involving 11 teams from the School, with each team comprising a mix of students in both the BA(Hons) Interior Design and BA(Hons) Product Design programmes. Teams were given three weeks to put together their proposals and presentations, and the final selection was made from a shortlist of four teams.

The winning design, ‘A Forest of Creativity’, is inspired by the collaborative symbiosis between artists, designers and the public. It emulates a journey through a forest, inspiring visitors to be part of the creative trajectory.

The six members of the winning team are: BA(Hons) Interior Design students Nur Danya Shamun, Benjamin Choo Jun Jie, Tian Wen and Zhang Wanting; and BA(Hons) Product Design students Raymond Seung Choi and Wong Shi Ting.

“We were inspired by the parts of a tree when we decided on the programming for the space. The root is the community, the trunk the communal space, the branches the network of multipurpose spaces and the flowers are the connections and encounters between people from different artistic disciplines,” said Nur Danya Shamun.

The refurbishment began in early October and was completed by the end of the month. The space had its soft launch on 1 November with a ‘Best of the Best’ exhibition by LASALLE’s Faculty of Design, showcasing works from the Class of 2021.

An official opening is planned for 3 December from 1pm–6pm, with a range of talks, retail events, exhibitions, seminars, and workshops by design luminaries and professionals. All spaces and events will be open to the public. Opening hours are Thursday to Monday, 12pm–8pm. OPEN STUDIOS is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Nur Danya Shamun added: “The whole journey, from the start of the design process till the end of the construction, was a challenge filled with immense joy and excitement. To see our design come to life was truly remarkable, as it was our first time working on a live project. We hope OPEN STUDIOS will become a place that blossoms with creativity and brings joy to those who visit.”

A nucleus of activities for both students and shoppers to interact

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In the next three months, OPEN STUDIOS will be a hive of activities curated by LASALLE’s various schools, including Fashion and Design Communication. It will be an experiential space that supports conversations, collaborations and exchanges by individuals and collectives. Follow us on and @lasallesingapore for updates.

OPEN STUDIOS also aims to become a welcoming space for students and other shoppers to hang out, relax, exchange ideas, and explore new spaces as part of the mall’s plans to re-emphasise its position as a destination mall for youths.

For a limited time, the mall will feature a pop-up by Eat & Sip, a curated community of small-batch artisans from around the world, offering this generation a more mindful eating-and-drinking experience.

Students and shoppers can also unwind at local bistro and bottle store Gudsht, which offers a range of eclectic cocktails alongside sumptuous bites.

As for fitness and wellness enthusiasts, they will be spoilt for choice with a host of fitness facilities on Level 3. These options include complete fitness workouts at Body Fit Training; quick and effective sessions at Sugar Boxing and Star Elite Fitness; as well as spinning classes at Revolution and yoga sessions at Hale Yoga. The variety means there is something for everyone who desires to feel and be their best.

Best of all, this floor also features spacious shower facilities with amenities and eco-friendly hair and body-care products, so that shoppers can transition from a workout to the glitz of Orchard Road without a hitch.

They can also look forward to BOUNCE, a trampoline zone on Level 8, which is part of a gradual journey to re-invent Cineleisure as a destination which goes beyond a shopping mall to provide experiences.

“With the newly added fitness floors, new food concepts and this initiative with LASALLE, we hope we will continue to support new and local businesses and bring their ideas to fruition,” said the spokesperson for Cathay Organisation.