lyf@SMU is #lyfgoals
Times are changing and we're all moving towards embracing a nice balance of work and play. We could work 8 to 9 hours a day, but nobody wants to slog their entire day away with stress that builds up by the hour. The ideal life that I dream of, is to have my work space be as welcoming and comfortable as my own room.
After a 2-month revamp , SMU Labs finally unveiled their spanking new interior done up with lyf (pronounced "life"), The Ascott Limited's newest brand that launched on November 24, 2016. Three whole floors were renovated with quirky designs and swanky new furniture catered to students who will actively use the space for studying and research projects.
We were invited to lyf@SMU's launch event to gain a first-hand experience to see the brand new SMU Labs, and here are some things we’re absolutely loving about their new initiative.
High ceilings to make room for lofty aspirations
Paying homage to the former MPH building first built in 1908, you’ll find yourself looking at a two-storey high shelf with book-shaped lights that form different letters and words, upon entering the compound. This is in the Events Square, a multi-functional space where furniture can be easily moved and configured according to different needs. There’s an unabashed use of poppy colours that really allow the space to look as young and vibrant as its users.
Events Square bustling with activity
With a balcony-like view from the second storey, the Events Square is perfect for casual seminars and small concerts. There’s even a mezzanine DJ booth with turntables and mixers next to the bookshelf, where professional DJs and SMU’s student DJ club will be invited to take over. EDM in a school compound building? We say yes.
Built for millennials, by millennials
Ping pong table with a twist, literally
Moving over to The Park, we were super intrigued by these stationary bicycles, which are meant to create energy and charge your phones as you pedal! You can either choose to lepak in this area after lunch, or work up some sweat to charge your phones and prepare them to survive the day with you.
Working on those pedals to see the light
While the phone charging function will be introduced in due time, we had a chance in dabbling with the bicycles to light our own light bulbs! Many current students are working on various projects to be implemented in the space, and we’re excited to see what’s about to come as well.
With the millennial interests in mind, lyf@SMU is not a standalone effort by big bosses, but rather a collaboration with SMU students to create the best working space possible. Not only is it a co-work, co-study environment, but it is also a co-living space for students to work on their applied research projects as part of their university modules.
With large windows effortlessly allowing natural light to enliven the space, the ground floor of the building actually feels like a vast open outdoor area. Opposite The Park is The Arena, a whole row of comfy beanbags and sofas you can chill at with a view of Armenian Street.
This boxing ring is probably the best Instagrammable feature of lyf@SMU. It isn’t just a pretty photo booth, but it’s also a space for you to have some fiery debates and friendly face-offs with your friends. Imagine a small talent show or rap battle — we’re pretty sure that’ll draw in an enthusiastic party crowd.
Fun fact: Managers of lyf property are named "lyfguards", and they are everyday people who use the space as well! Maybe just a little more knowledgeable when it comes to fixing a broken bulb or a clogged up toilet.
We swopped places with a lyfguard on duty for a photo!
Recreational spaces better than home
Nestled at the back of the ground floor is the Multimedia Room and the Jamming Area, two small rooms for students to relieve their stress if discussions get long winded and weary. The entire Multimedia Room is lit with UV light and gives off techno feels! We got to try out trendy headphones, and just next to us were people engrossed in their VR world playing Fruit Ninja.
The Jamming Area is complete with various instruments and a big speaker you can plug your devices into for a mini party in the room. You can channel your inner Beyonce and scream your lungs out; the room is completely soundproof.
P.S. Thanks to the SMU boys for letting us crash your jamming session!
Social kitchen area away from the bustling ground floor
The ground floor is only an introduction to the functional aspects of lyf@SMU. Up above on the third floor, there is a social kitchen where lyf hopes to bring various groups of students, international and local alike, together to mingle over a meal. The large communal tables in the pantry are perfect for socialising in big groups and having gatherings.
But first, coffee — because we all know coffee is crucial to a sleep-deprived millennial
Psst, we hear this indoor-beach concept room is coming up!
Recreational, co-living rooms are still in the works so you can expect even more coming. We had a sneak preview of a room that’s about to be transformed with an indoor beach concept. Hawaiian beach getaway in campus, anyone?
Experiences come to you instead of you searching out for them
Leather artisans making customised personal cardholders
Fragrance masters sharing their tips on making the best-suited scent for ourselves
lyf encourages collaboration amongst its residents to organise or sign up for workshops, hackathons or talks. From what we know, lyf@SMU aims to hold a number of community events like pop-up fleas or TEDtalks for SMU students and the general public alike.
At the launch event, Bynd Artisan gave out free customised leather cardholders and folks from Oo La Lab helped us to make our own lyf scents!
Unique scents ranging from fresh Aquatic to sweet Vanilla
Your dream spaces can become a reality
“Your space, your say."
Before moving on to the next phase of lyf's project, students get to vote for a space that they want to see in lyf@SMU. Think bunk beds, chairs hanging from the ceiling, and futuristic all-white rooms! All you have to do is take a pick from the room options that lyf offers – next thing you know, you might find a jungle gym waiting for you in the premises.
Interactive chalkboard wall next to the pantry
Let lyf decide your life's unanswered questions with a game inspired by pinball
This chalkboard wall is free for doodling and flowing of ideas; you can write messages, suggestions and notices for others to see! The interactive displays are simple light-hearted games that act as a nice decor, like the one you see above. If you’re stuck with no answers to a fiercely debated question, let this pyramid be the unbiased answering machine.
Your lyf is about to get even better
With lyf@SMU, Ascott will be gathering extensive feedback from students to make the best possible serviced residences for millennials, set to be released in the coming years. These funky rooms and spaces might ultimately become your future cribs as you set out to blossom as working professionals! More than 1,200 millennials will shuffle around in the building daily, giving plenty of data to tailor lyf residences.
At lyf residences, you can expect to meet people of all backgrounds with the craziest stories to share; perhaps an introspective writer, an ambitious entrepreneur, or even a toy creator. Whatever the case, the possibilities are endless.
With lyf@SMU’s database to pave the path towards this eventual goal, we’re all pretty stoked to see what’s about to come for its first official serviced apartments! In the meantime, you can all keep yourselves updated for more pop-up events through their Instagram and Facebook page — a better lyf is about to come.
This post was brought to you by The Ascott Limited.