Why this mask + shield is different from everything you’ve seen so far

There are a lot of innovative masks that we’re constantly seeing on the internet and it’s ironic because there is a global shortage of PPE for healthcare workers. So why are designers still creating masks? Because the lockdown may end in 8 weeks but the vaccine won’t be ready and therefore we need creative ways for the mass adoption of wearing masks as a part of everyday fashion. This way we stay safe as we enter a ‘new normal’ and leave the surgical masks for the health workers. Now you may ask how is this mask any different from the other cool masks we’ve seen?

Well, this one doubles up as a face shield so that no bacteria enters your eye and comes with an accessory-like sanitizer so you won’t have to search your bags or have an oddly-shaped pocket. Designer Fulden Dehneli calls the mask Gādo (ガード) and the sanitizer Ken (剣) because she views these as complementary products that will become necessities in a post-pandemic world. Gādo means ‘guard’ and Ken means ‘sword’ in Japanese which is such a poetic way to describe tools – they guard us and kill the germs!

Gādo and Ken were specifically designed for seamless integration into our lives. Gādo combines the benefits of a mask and a face shield with a simple sliding mechanism- a folded textile structure hidden under the shield which enlarges when the shield is slid up. This way you don’t have to constantly wear the traditionally obtrusive face shield but can ‘guard up’ if you’re among people and can’t maintain distance. Along with head straps that ensure comfort and fit, it also keeps the mouth visible to keep the window of human expression open, something we crave so deeply and will not take for granted when this ends. Ken is a sanitizer spray bottle that is ergonomically designed to be more portable and accessible than its predecessors.

Dehneli aims to answer the questions that have crossed our minds through her work – What if we have to wear a mask every day from now on? How do we stay protected as we resume our daily routines outside quarantine? Will masks make us feel less friendly when we interact socially? Can I find a sanitizer that doesn’t look like its sitting in the center console of my car for years? Gādo and Ken is your S.H.I.E.L.D (see what I did there?) team when you step back out into the world.

Designer: Fulden Dehneli



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