It’s not exactly common to encounter a hospitality brand as the driving force behind an exhibition celebrating circular design. But Potato Head is not your usual hospitality company. Sure, it provides tourists with luxurious stays at its beach clubs and resorts in Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore, including the Desa Potato Head creative village (also known as the Potato Head Beach Club) in Seminyak, Bali, which inaugurated the
But its founder, Ronald Akili, has also been promoting sustainability as his core business ethos for over a decade. To this end, his properties feature all-vegan menus and eco-educational programs for kids (including lessons on making paint from sustainable pigments), plus they re-use the waste from their daily operations (and from all over Bali) to produce the furniture and design objects sold through their lifestyle vertical. Potato Head even has a gender-neutral fashion label that crafts clothing out of used materials. It all makes for a convincing motto: “Good Times, Do Good.”
Recently Potato Head partnered with OMA once again – this time on the curation of an exhibition at Singapore’s National Design Centre called
Among them are the works of numerous high-profile designers and artists – including international stars Studio Toogood, Kengo Kuma and Futura – alongside local participants, such as Jakarta studio BYO Living (which collaborates with Potato Head on the interiors and products in the resorts), Bali-based environmental engineers Eco Mantra and Singapore’s food and beverage brand Tanuki Raw. The circular workshop is run by TRASHLAB by Miniwiz & The Idea Co and the National Environment Agency.
Some of the pieces are recreations of architecture and furnishings found in Potato Head’s spaces, including Andra Matin’s installation of a scalable version of his
Alongside these physical artifacts, OMA has designed graphics that illustrate the problem of ballooning material waste streams – including those generated by the tourism industry in which Potato Head operates. By offering alternatives to virgin materials, including virgin plastics, the exhibition offsets our collective guilt by offering beautiful options. And the whole show itself will be upcycled at its end – TRASHLAB will use all the materials on display in workshops with Singapore creatives.