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Cubes 99: Emotive Spaces

Cubes issue 99 is out now! It recognises that at the core of the experience economy is emotion. And it’s available as a special free e-mag in case you can’t access your print copy right now!

Cubes 99: Emotive Spaces

Perhaps never before has our emotional engagement been so coveted by brands.


Future ‘digital humans’ at SKP-S department store in Beijing, designed by Gentle Monster, SYBARITE and SKP. Photo by Gentle Monster.


And it’s happening across a spectrum of contexts and channels. But at the same time, never before have consumers been so particular about what they consume, and how. 

Transactional retail engagements have been superseded by longer-term relationships between brands and consumers. New modes of consumer – and community – courtship are appearing in hotels and F&B. And elements of hospitality are expected in many other sectors of design. 


Potato Head Studios in Bali is one of a new breed of hotels that seriously addresses sustainability. Designed by OMA and Andramatin. Photo by Kevin Mak for OMA.


Our theme for issue 99, Emotive Spaces, recognises that at the core of the experience economy is emotion. We put the spotlight on the ways we experience and engage through design – how it can speak to our emotions, captivate us, and perhaps even benefit us in ways we didn’t expect.


A custom light fixture at Chinese restaurant Nan Bei, situated on the nineteenth floor of the Rosewood Bangkok. Design by AvroKO. Photo by Owen Raggett.


Some of the threads of investigation this issue:



What is hospitable design?


How does ‘place’ feed into engagement?


How can we raise our ambitions for placemaking?


How can street vernacular become a meaningful design driver?


Are brands succeeding at welcoming customers to their virtual spaces?



The facade of ‘A Simple Headquarters’ for Wearnes Automotive in Singapore, designed by Pencil Office (with TEAM DESIGN Architects). Photo by Khoo Guo Jie.




With the Covid crisis playing out around us and lockdowns in effect, it’s likely that you won’t be able to access our print edition easily. So for issue 99, we’re offering a special free-to-access e-mag. Head here to start reading!




In the Indesign Media offices, emotions hit a high point recently when a record number of entries poured in for our INDE.Awards 2020 – a fantastic sign of a resilient regional industry coming together despite the challenges of the day. Stay tuned for announcement of the shortlist in May, and the winners in August.

With this year’s special Best of the Decade celebration, as well as the very first INDE.Summit in August, the passions and insights of leading Indo-Pacific designers and architects will be front and centre for regional discussion.


‘Living scaffolding’ around the pool/outdoor cinema at Samsen STREET Hotel in Bangkok, designed by CHAT Architects. Photo by W Workspace.


This issue of Cubes marks my last at its helm. It has been an honour and a privilege to tell the stories of so many talented architects and designers from Singapore and our region over five rewarding years.

As Cubes enters triple digits with its upcoming hundredth issue, I wish all of us in the built environment industries – practitioners, clients, suppliers, writers, photographers and design aficionados – continued passion and diligence in steering what we do and love in the most insightful, resilient and inspirational direction we can.


Siriyot Chaiamnuay and Arisara Chaktranon, founders and Design Directors Onion, at their studio in Bangkok. Photo by Adit Sombunsa.




On The Cover

The experimental SKP_S department store in Beijing boldly combines commercial and non-commercial spaces to redefine the retail experience. It was designed by SYBARITE, Gentle Monster and SKP, and includes evolving installations such as Future Farm by Gentle Monster. Photo: Gentle Monster.

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