On top of this, STUCK is also the group behind the widely lauded “Souvenirs from Singapore” (SS) series launched during the 2015 National Day Weekend. Designed in collaboration with two other prominent local design names — Supermama and Mekyrs, who handled retail strategy and production respectively — , the SS series originated with the goal of re-inventing the image of the ‘local souvenir’. The project manifested itself in fifty different products, all intentionally priced under $20 to be accessible to all consumers.
Donn Koh (Photo Credits: STUCK)
“We wanted to make something refreshing”, says Donn, who believes that while there is certainly still space for the more traditional, tourist-directed, type of souvenirs, this does not have to be the only interpretation of what it means for something to be a ‘souvenir’.
The result? Don’t expect postcards with the Vanda Miss Joaquim emblazoned on it; ‘Singapore’ written in cursive font. The SS line commemorates classic Singaporean icons through design with the intention of making ‘Singapore souvenirs’ attractive not just to tourists, but locals as well.
In addition, STUCK shied away from making souvenirs that lacked any meaningful purpose apart from being souvenirs. “One cannot be on holiday all the time,” Donn quips.
Indeed, the SS range (recently rebranded as Red Republic) does not consist of objects created merely to be placeholders for memories of holidays far gone, or local inside jokes. Instead, they are objects that have an enduring daily relevance to the buyer, such as the ‘Jiu Ceng Gao’ (multi-layered cake) Doorstop, or ‘Void Deck Chess Dish’.
‘Void Deck Chess Dish’ (Photo Credits: STUCK)
Thus, even without understanding the cultural references, one can still appreciate the inherent functionality of the items — a well designed doorstop, or trinket dish. The cultural references embedded into the products add an additional layer of meaning to the item, but do not define their purpose altogether.