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Ascott launches first living lab in Singapore in tie-up with SMU

Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 11:01

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Capitaland's wholly owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited, has launched its first living lab to field test its newest brand, lyf, that is designed for and managed by millennials, in partnership with the Singapore Management University (SMU).

CAPITALAND'S wholly owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited, has launched its first living lab to field test its newest brand, lyf, that is designed for and managed by millennials, in partnership with the Singapore Management University (SMU).

Named lyf@SMU, Ascott will simulate a lyf product at SMU to test out various co-living concepts, enabling its students to be the first in the world to experience and shape upcoming lyf properties.

The living lab will be open 24/7 for all SMU students from Feb 27, the group said on Thursday in a filing to the bourse operator.

Lee Chee Koon, Ascott's chief executive, said that this development follows the launch of lyf last November.

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"We will be directly engaging the more than 1,200 millennials expected to visit lyf@SMU daily to field test various co-living concepts and community building activities. With each of the students clocking an average staying time of about four hours, we will be building up a sizeable data reservoir of user preferences and space usage patterns. The data will be translated into actionable insights to better tailor lyf to their needs as they prepare to become working professionals - our main target customers of lyf."

In line with lyf's focus to provide authentic local experiences and for each property to be unique, the living lab is located in the city centre within the former home of Singapore's renowned Malaya Publishing House built in the 1900s.

With more than 32,000 sq ft spread over three storeys, there are co-working lounges with modular furniture, large communal tables at the social pantry with interactive voting boards, multimedia rooms to encourage collaboration and free flow of ideas, days beds and napping pods.

As part of lyf's concept to enable guests to "Live Your Freedom" and connect with like-minded creatives to bring ideas to life, Ascott will test out recreation areas where students can rock out in the soundproof music jamming studio, pedal up a sweat on the bike to power up their mobile phones or head to the exercise zone for a game of foosball or table tennis.

Said Arnoud De Meyer, SMU president: "Ascott will be leveraging the mobile sensing technology from one of SMU's research labs, the LiveLabs Urban Lifestyle Innovation Platform, to gather data on millennial students. Ascott will also be partnering with SMU on a Design Thinking course in August 2017, where students will work on two projects related to the branding and development of lyf."

With a target of 10,000 units under the lyf brand globally by 2020, Ascott has set its sights to roll out lyf in the gateway cities of Australia, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

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