RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
how a rage room is one entrepreneur’s answer to a pressing problem
Royce Tan is HELPING stressed out Singaporeans EXPRESS their anger with a business designed to bring UNWANTED EMOTIONS into the LIGHT
We’ve all had those moments of rage, the kind where propelling the closest inanimate object into the air (or a nearby wall) seems like the perfect catharsis. Sadly, in most cases, this behaviour isn’t socially appropriate. In his past life working as a furniture salesperson, entrepreneur Royce Tan realised a common thread in his daily interactions with customers: Singaporeans were highly stressed and, worse, not dealing with it. So, Royce created The Fragment Room, a space designed exclusively to indulge people’s desires to break and smash objects, in order to heal. The two 14 square-metre rooms give visitors the space to let loose and go wild, and pay for the privilege – sessions cost between S$38 and S$350. Customers are given a crate of breakables (some of which are sourced for a bargain from a guy who also sells furniture to hotels including the Hilton and Sheraton), a bat and protective gear before they’re left to their own devices to partake in what Royce has defined as “anger therapy”. Here, he talks us through his journey from unusual idea to burgeoning business.
I FEEL THAT SINGAPORE IS A VERY REPRESSED SOCIETY.
We’d rather bottle up our problems than do something about them. Mental health issues are taboo here; seeking mental So we designed it with that in mind. Also, having it all cement and raw meant that any damage to the store would look intentional.
ALL FEEDBACK WE’VE RECEIVED SO FAR HAS BEEN POSITIVE.
Most of our customers unfortunately come here just for the ’gram, they just want to take pretty photos for their social media, instead of having the full experience and really letting go. It’s hard for a society like ours to change their mindset just like that. We do, however, have a good handful of people who come here because of break-ups, work stress, retrenchment and, sadly, the passing of family members, too.
RAGE ROOMS ARE IMPORTANT IN AN AGE OF MINDFULNESS AND WELLNESS
because we get to release, we get to let go of all that frustration in this fast-paced society we live in. Just 30 minutes is better than spending time in the gym or drinking.