Wed, Dec 14, 2011 - Page 13 News List

Toys for grown-ups

Home decor store Fun Fun Town carries vintage and retro-inspired accessories with a playful twist

By Catherine Shu  /  Staff Reporter

Old and new items in Fun Fun Town include wooden teddy bears by German brand Saxonpark Handcraft, wind-up toys and glassware by American company Roost.

photo: Catherine Shu, Taipei Times

Fun Fun Town (放放堂) sells items created by names familiar to connoisseurs of modern design, including Jorn Utzon, Finn Juhl and Kristian Vedel. Despite its carefully curated roster of goods, however, the home accessories and furnishing store, located in the Minsheng Community (民生社區), does not take itself too seriously.

“We want to find things that make customers pick them up and ask ‘what is this?’” says owner Adam Hsiao (蕭光), who describes Fun Fun Town as a “curiosity shop.”

Some items are meant to be played with, like wind-up toys with exposed metal components by Brazilian designer Chico Bicalho that shoot sparks as they crawl or roll across a surface. Others, such as garlands by Dutch designer Tord Boontje, have to be arranged by the user.

“We like finding items that have a do-it-yourself mentality or encourage people to get hands-on with them,” says Hsiao. “You don’t just purchase it, take it home and stick it on display.”

Fun Fun Town originally opened as a cafe near the National Chengchi University (國立政治大學). Three years ago, Hsiao and his wife, both former designers who had worked for advertising agencies in Beijing and Tokyo, decided to focus on selling home items and moved their storefront to a tree-lined street in Taipei’s Minsheng Community.

Since opening, the store’s style has gradually changed, says manager Raf Chang (張昱偉).

Fun Fun Town once carried so many of Tord Boontje’s floral cutwork curtains, lampshades and garlands that its interior resembled a fairy-tale forest. Now Hsiao has begun to focus on finding a mix of items with an industrial flavor, like trouble lamps (lightbulbs housed in protective cages used by workmen as they perform inspections), or rustic style, such as handmade pieces by American company Roost. Fun Fun Town also sells secondhand furniture, including a library card catalog drawer, tiny folding chairs for children and a large wooden table that was originally used to support equipment in a textile factory.

STORE NOTES

What: Fun Fun Town (放放堂)

Where: 2, Alley 1, Ln 359, Fujin St, Taipei City (台北市富錦街359巷1弄2號)

Opening Hours: Sunday to Wednesday 2pm to 9pm

Telephone: (02) 2766-5916

On the Net: www.funfuntown.com


“We always look for things that are interesting or playful,” says Chang. “Sometimes we import things that are a little bit more offbeat and they don’t sell, but we’ve gradually cultivated a customer base.”

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