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Soon-to-be-demolished Peace Centre offers its retail space to PlayPan for six months of community-based activities

Jasmine Alimin
Jasmine Alimin • 5 min read
Soon-to-be-demolished Peace Centre offers its retail space to PlayPan for six months of community-based activities
PHOTO: Samuel Isaac Chua/The Edge Singapore
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Before it shuts its doors for good, Peace Centre at Sophia Road — which was sold in a joint collective sale to CEL Development, Sing-Haiyi Crystal and Ultra Infinity — will transform into an interactive community playground with a series of events and activities, led by social movement PlayPan.

From October 2023 to February 2024, Peace Centre’s 400,000 sq ft retail space will be a vibrant hub for creative collaboration focused on positive change and societal impact. Expect immersive workshops and enriching experiences, including World Sight Day, World Coffee Day and Halloween events. Activities include thrifting and raising, mural art, digital art, animation, music, AI, blockchain, Web3 and more. Plus, a whole floor for a user-generated Halloween experience is open to all.

PlayPan aims to be the heart of a “City of Good,” where changemakers and thought leaders collaborate to write a new chapter promoting unity and shared community benefits. It has included several non-governmental organisations (NGOs), organisations and communities like OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation, Society of St Vincent de Paul, National Volunteer, Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped. Other NGOs will be offered complimentary booths during the different festivals so there will be a captive community to support their various FUNraising activities

Led by Ten Square founder Gary Hong, and OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation head Yvonne Siow, PlayPan is supported by Michael Ng, the regional executive director for CEL. “Michael loves the idea of repurposing this old mall for a final do-good ra-ra, and in double quick time, assembled his whole team to hear us pitch about this out-of-the-world social experiment,” says Siow at the official handover party for PlayPan.

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On how the name PlayPan came about, Siow says: “We both love the idea of using ‘play’ to harness good and positive vibes to re-energise and bring people together. ‘Pan’ is a metaphor for individuals, brands, governments and associations to bring their “ingredient of good” such as expertise and skill sets to create thought leadership and change.”

Aimed at young adults and students in neighbouring art schools and universities, PlayPlan's mission is to foster a culture of giving and service among future leaders. “Our hope is for this social movement to have a dynamic lifeform and the ideology of Do Good, Do Well, and Do Well, Do Good to create an Economy of Good. We have two parts to our philosophy: Instill compassion, empathy and action amongst the haves, and create an economy of good for the have-nots.”

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Siow’s vision for PlayPan involves transitioning from a physical to a digital (metaverse) and, finally, a phygital (hybrid) space. She says: “Peace Centre was a gift from the universe for all of us to come together for a better tomorrow. We believe PlayPan will manifest itself in another exciting dimension through collective contribution.”

Key project highlights

OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation (OSELF)

The OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation is a charitable organisation reflecting the commitment of EssilorLuxottica to eliminate uncorrected poor vision in a generation. Global Digital Twin will be launched at PlayPan, giving individuals an immersive experience that reminds them on the importance of good vision and encourages them to take care of their eyes. It will be inaugurated on World Sight Day by Guest of Honor, Mayor of Central Singapore and District Member of Parliament, Jalan Besar GRC, Ms Denise Phua and Mr Anurag Hans, President of the OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation and Head of Mission, EssilorLuxottica.

AI Playground and AI Academy

An incubation hub for technology and innovation, AI Playground and AI Academy focuses on bringing expert industry leaders together. This is the perfect environment for artists, creators and enthusiasts to come together to exchange ideas, skills and perspectives. This collaborative journey will harness the transformative power of digital innovations and allow everyone to be at the forefront of this tech revolution. Guests are encouraged to collaborate and co-create new possibilities and unlock a world of limitless possibilities.

LaSalle’s McNally School of Fine Arts

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In celebrating and honouring the centenary of its late founder Brother Joseph McNally this year, LaSalle will bring SoFASoGood Action Lab to PlayPan, with a series of weekend activations—ranging from material storytelling and critical craft to social practice and community engagement. This includes a recurring Book Culture Growing Group and a Pop-Up/Pop-In Holiday Makers’ Mart in December.

Thryft

Thryft has opened its largest retail store, Second Story: Peace Edition, in collaboration with PlayPan. It curates from over 50,000 books and 20,000 pieces of clothes in Thryft’s inventory, and also showcases vintage and rare books, and products from local sellers. Established in 2020, Thryft uses smart recommerce technology that enables users to trade-in or donate their items at speed and scale. For users who trade-in, they receive credits that they can use in person or online. For donations, credits are in turn donated to charities in the form of cash after their items are sold.

Blockchain Association of Singapore

The BE Club is an exciting initiative by Blockchain Association Singapore. This club is designed to bridge students with the association's extensive network, catering to their blockchain-related needs, projects, and future career aspirations. The BE Club focuses on nurturing the next generation of blockchain leaders by offering students the chance to connect with professionals who can guide them in their blockchain journey, providing real-world experience, internships, and mentorship opportunities.

The Good Market by BoxGreen

A pop-up concept by BoxGreen, The Good Market offers a unique retail experience bringing their signature snacks as gifts alongside other socially responsible brands. Beyond shopping for meaningful products, visitors can engage in workshops focused on sustainability and social entrepreneurship. Visitors can explore curated sustainable gifts and PlayPan merchandise, indulge in mindful caffeinated creations, and engage in educational workshops.

For more information, visit PlayPan.Co on LinkedIn, Tik Tok and Instagram

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