RAGE AGAINST THE MA­CHINE

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how a rage room is one en­tre­pre­neur’s an­swer to a press­ing problem

NI­COLE WEBB

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.

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