They say two heads are better than one. So imagine what happens when COO founder Silas Lee and the folks behind Minstry of Design (MOD) come together to collaborate. They produce Singapore’s very first sociatel (a hostel big on the socialising aspect)! A stellar partnership that birthed the wondrous establishment located in the heart of Tiong Bahru, representatives from both camps — Silas from COO and Joy from MOD — tell us about the favourite aspects of their prized project.
Hi Silas and Joy, tell us more about yourselves and each of your professions.
Silas (S): Hi I’m Silas, and I run the COO brand.
Joy (J): I’m Joy, from Ministry Of Design, the team behind the space.
What is COO all about and how would you describe it as a brand?
S: I travelled a lot in my previous job, and I used to check into hotels and not talk to people until I got out. It’s a very functional way of doing things, and a lot of new boutique hotels are moving towards this direction. There usually aren’t any communal spaces where guests can connect, so with COO I wanted to create a place where people can get together and learn from one another.
COO has a very distinctive brand DNA. The aesthetics of our hostel’s interior has a specific COO character, and we also focus heavily on the socialising aspect of the hostel experience. We even developed a web application called COO Connect, allowing guests to communicate with one another even before they’ve begun their stay here.
How exactly does COO Connect work? And why did you decide to integrate the platform into the hostel experience?
S: Using COO Connect, guests can interact with one another by listing their interests and chatting online. Solo travellers looking for companions to have meals or plan outings with can use the application and make friends.
Since we’re targeting millennials, we wanted to engage them in a way they like to be engaged — digitally. We wanted to embody the spirit of a backpacker hostel, where people usually meet and socialise, but we’re doing it using a digital method for the current generation.
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December - March 2017