In the collective imaginary Southeast Asia is a place with a wealth of crafts culture, often hastily relegated to the vague aesthetic galaxy of ethnic style.

From Singapore, a design story with a playful, light approach interprets the dynamism of the entrepreneurial, social and aesthetic reality of the area, with surprising results.

PlayPlay is the name of a “brave, bold and flavorful” furniture collection, as its authors, the duo Lanzavecchia + Wai, like to say, marking the passage from distributor to producer of Journey East, for 20 years a dealer and select shop of vintage furniture and recycled wood, with stores in Singapore and Indonesia.

“The Dna of Journey East is light and playful, like the productive context of Indonesia where the collection was born,” says Francesca Lanzavecchia, “and from the start we were involved in defining a new vocabulary for the brand, looking for materials, forms and colors that would forcefully assert the essence of ‘proudly made in Southeast Asia’ and would respond to the tastes of young new homeowners in Singapore.”

All the elements of PLAYPlay are designed with a visual or functional twist: the Accordion cabinet, when observed from different vantage points, reveals different chromatic and materic aspects, while Bazaar comes from the combination of a desk and a bookcase, Pong is a dining & ping pong table, and the coffee tables (Hamburger) are ready for use as trays, doubling the surface when guests arrive.

“The main material is Indonesian mahogany, combining this native wood and its warm color with the hues of local spices, fruits and fabrics.”

The seriously playful approach is part of the studio’s design signature: “For us, play is fundamental, taking us into the dimension where we are truest, a dimension of lightness but not of foolishness. We think each of our projects has to deserve to exist, and has to express humanity: we want to bring humanity back into everyday life.”

Text by Katrin Kosseta