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Play It Again!

Lanzavecchia + Wai and Journey East introduced fun new products for the acclaimed PLAYplay furniture collection at IFFS last week.

  • Francesca Lanzavecchia and Hunn Wai with the Gridlock Bookshelf

  • Gridlock Console

  • Rail Console

  • Rail Console

  • Hunn and Francesca with the Rail Desk and Rail Side Console

  • Rail Side Console

  • Hunn and Francesca with the Polqa Sofa

  • Polqa Sofa

  • Polqa Sofa

  • The whole PLAYplay collection



BY Narelle Yabuka

15 March, 2017


The pineapples are back! And so are the colours. The new additions to the PLAYplay collection unveiled by Journey East and Lanzavecchia + Wai at the International Furniture Fair Singapore last week continue the eccentric and clever approach to furnishing the small living spaces of our dense cities.

The inspirations behind the first PLAYplay collection – the colours and essence of South East Asia – have been explored further, along with the emphasis on a vintage character fused with a modern sensibility. The latest pieces were displayed – with a good dose of decorative pineapples – beside pieces from the first collection. And despite a shift in emphasis from mahogany to oak, it was a thoroughly cohesive presentation.

Said Hunn Wai, Singapore-based Creative Director and Founder (with Francesca Lanzavecchia) of Lanzavecchia + Wai at IFFS, “This time around it’s about making colour work harder.” That links with the materials used for the new products – including, for the first time, bent tubular steel with colourful powdercoating. “For large projects, colours can be specified to suit the interior colour scheme,” he said.

Two series were introduced within the second collection: Gridlock (in the form of a bookshelf and console) and Rails (in the form of a console, desk and side console). Also introduced was the first PLAYplay sofa – a generously proportioned piece titled Polqa.

“Some of the feedback on the first collection was, ‘Where’s the sofa? Where are the shelves?’” recalled Wai. “We’ve addressed that. One of the other challenges we had to address was how to make the pieces even more accessible in terms of materials. Many people already have oak pieces at home, or their interior has been tuned with oak by their interior designer. We felt we needed to place greater emphasis on oak but keep it playful and young,” he added.

The familiar mahogany from the first collection does reappear as an option for the Polqa sofa, which has been designed for appreciation from every angle. “The solid rail runs all the way around, so if you don’t want to park the sofa against a wall, the back still looks good. A sofa needs to be accessible in terms of its look,” said Wai. “ It’s the piece that anchors the living space.” A swinging side table can be positioned at either side, or removed entirely and replaced with a mushroom-like cap.

Other pieces in the new range emphasise movement with the impression of shifting masses (Gridlock shelves and console) and playful curves (Rail desk and consoles). “The aesthetic language of the Rail series recalls the playground structures of our childhoods,” said Wai, adding that the tubular metal creates both visual lightness and structural strength. “The tube has a 25mm diameter that invites your hand to grab it – just like a playground structure.” Fun!


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