TAIPEI, Taiwan – The global outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 has affect all sectors. In Taiwan, tourism-related industries that rely on tourists, especially international and business travelers have suffered the most. The global pandemic continues to spread, and all hotels are striving for a new business model in response to the adverse impacts of the pandemic. Some hotels have converted to quarantine hotels, while some others launched new marketing campaigns.
Sitting in the alleys of Daan District at the heart of Taipei, Folio Daan Taipei is a design hotel transformed from a 43-year-old dormitory of Taiwan Cooperative Bank. Adopting the principles of circular design, “Taiwan Design Research Institute (TDRI)” leads “Rock Rising” and “2 by Wu&Chen” to focus on service innovation and develop integrated innovative services that combine hotel and circular products. Through the planning of immersive experiences from space reconstruction, service design, select circular products, to experiential activities, circular design and products are naturally used and procured by consumers in places of travel and living.
Circular design of the place begins with the redesigning of two guest rooms. The first one is “Livingreen Room,” which is inspired by “green energy” and fuses on leftover flowers of flower stores and indigenous plants of Taiwan, injecting the hope of the eternal cycle of life into growing greenery. The second room is “Hiddenspace Room,” which focuses on “energy conservation;” through design of lighting, the earthy colors are extended to exhibit the tranquil but vibrant and robust hidden dynamics of the land.
Circular concept is not just incorporated for the design of the space: the water glasses in the guest rooms are hand-crafted using recycled glasses by “Spring Pool Glass;” the reading lamps are made of disposed materials of retired equipment of “TPCreative;” comfortable and soft indoor slippers by “Oringo” are made of scrap leather; toiletries are provided by “SESN,” which uses non-plastic packaging that can be fully decomposed; and stereo system with wooden speakers made of old door frames by “minfort.”
As for furniture, “REHOW” and “2 by Wu&Chen” use fabrics of Folio’s disposed beddings to make pillow sleeves and bed runners; the nightstand is made of recycled pulp by “Sleepy Tofu;” chairs are made of disposed fabrics by “#0Waste;” tumblers made from coffee grounds by “TZULAÏ,” travel packs made of recycled materials by “bitplay” and disposed canvas by “REBIRTH.” Not only does the circular concept greet all guests from the moment they step into the space, it is really an upgraded life experience at the hotel.
The circular project first features a hotel as a demo site, rethinking and innovating the service model in the time of the pandemic, while also using circular design to show support for a sustainable future. In the future, the project aims to continue utilizing design’s strength of interdisciplinary connection, where the circular concept can be duplicated into other sectors, and develop business model to reconstruct the relationship between consumers and industries, as well as circular environment and new consumption model of consumers and industries.