2020 has surely brought about a change in our priorities. Where Instagram was earlier filled with people jet-setting across the globe to exotic, unseen locations and inspiring wanderlust for everyone else, our mindless focus on self and not caring enough about the natural resources that quietly supported us led to this COVID-19 pandemic. The question that arises here is humanity learning from its mistakes? History shows that we rarely do and a dystopian future where wearing a mask is a part of our daily life might just happen, sooner than later. While that is a personal change, the environment around us is making drastic changes to support the new normal and showcased here are designs that are the solution for social distancing the world currently needs! Together, with being mindful of your behavior, using masks and observing social distancing, the world can slowly get back on its feet while the medical professionals find us a solution to this pandemic!
Currently on the shortlist for an Inde Award, the Avion by Keith Melbourne Studio is a modular workspace setup that comes with a contemporary design with soft curves, chic furniture, and a modern color palette to help make the workspace look friendly and appealing. Designed to create visual comfort so you’re more focused and relaxed at work, the cubicle systems isolate you and provide enough space to work out of, while still giving you enough of a window to step out and socialize from time to time… from a distance of course!
The Waya aren’t homes or individual yachts, they’re societies with all the elements needed for sustenance. Smaller floating structures act as personal houses, while larger ones serve the purpose of hotels and community centers. The Wayaland floating community even has entertainment and recreational zones spanning gyms, cinemas, shops, floating beach clubs, as well as greenhouses for growing produce that helps feed the people on-board. The floating architectural units are made from fiberglass, carbon fiber, and steel, and even have large underwater spaces that help extend living/storage capabilities while allowing the Waya’s to easily float upright on water. Smaller Waya’s come with two floors (including an underwater floor) while larger ones can go up to 10 floors in height, accommodating a host of people. Commuting between individual Waya units and to-and-from land can be done via boats, which then dock into dedicated boat-garages, while larger Waya buildings even have the capacity for a helipad or two.
Designed as a response to the COVID outbreak, this design is aimed at increasing people’s awareness of the importance of social distancing. Named the Well-Distance Being, the rattan design shaped like an hourglass takes inspiration from the petticoats worn in the victorian era. The product rests on the head, creating a shield between the user and the surroundings. “It is a symbolic intervention originally created to attract people’s attention for good intentions,” said the Livable team when asked if he worried about the design being seen as satirical. “If you do nothing, you can do nothing wrong,” he continued. “Regardless of our background, we all have the power to change or to be a small part of that change.”
London based studio Isolation has revised the way airline flights fit their seats to retain social distancing.”We felt there was a need to offer airlines the simplest possible addition to a seat,” explained Adam White, director at Factorydesign. “This could be temporarily fitted to enforce separation where there are multiple seats, to help protect passengers.” While the world, as a whole, can’t stop traveling, it’s measures like this that can help keep the passengers safe while they reach their destination!
Half of 2020 has flown by and while the children enjoy an uninterrupted vacation, parents look at another 6 months of homeschooling or facing the risk of sending their kids with the ever-present threat of COVID. “With a two-week lead time before the phased return of reception, year 1 and year 6 classes, the plan needed to divide and utilize the existing space, whilst creating a friendly, visually clear map for pupils to safely navigate the space,” explained UNIT Fabrications director Toby Hadden. Each of these plywood barriers has been designed keeping in mind that the teacher can see and easily interact with the kids while they stay in their own clean, protected space.
While we all are busy planning post-COVID parties, designer Paul Cocksedge has actually created solutions for how the post-COVID socializing would look like. Named ‘Here Comes the Sun’ blanket, this circular blanket comes with designated spots that ensure you can socialize while maintaining the mandated 2-meter distance. “It’s strange that this instinct has been taken away from us and we’ve weirdly adapted to interacting in this new and unnatural way,” says the designer.
This is what flying economy class could look like post COVID-19! Inspired by the Roman god of beginnings and transitions, the Janus seat is the future of travel. This design could be the new norm in the airline industry to allow passengers some degree of isolation and distancing while sitting next to each other. The first concept of the two-faced Janus seat by Aviointeriors simply reverses the center seat and separates all three passengers with a shield made of transparent material. This creates a protective barrier for everyone while giving each passenger their own space isolated from others, even from people who walk through the aisle.
The Hygiene Hand’s Avi Goldstein & William Crocker hook shape was designed to get you through most of life’s interactions hands-free. The hook comes with a slight bump at its tip that works as a metal fingertip, enabling you to press buttons on an elevator, or your PIN number into an ATM without using your hands. The brass build allows the Hygiene Hand to work as a conductive stylus too, letting you tap touchscreens or sign against tablets to fulfill deliveries. The hook detail facilitates pulling, sliding, and turning objects like door-handles with ease – probably the only caveat being spherical doorknobs that may need grabbing and turning. The anti-microbial nature of the Hygiene Hand’s brass build reduces, if not eliminates, the chances of any germs making it to your fingertips, effectively protecting you from catching something nasty… plus, it also holds keys!
Romware’s bracelet helps to reinforce the social distancing guidelines as more of us return to work. The digital device monitors the employees’ location and warns them if they are too close to each other. Initially designed for industries such as construction, logistic, warehousing, manufacturing, and port services, this bracelet can be used by any large company that cannot function remotely and relies on labor. Whenever employees are closer than 6 feet they will feel a vibration that warns them. The bracelet has a geofencing feature that allows you to set a limit for how many employees can be in a specific area to ensure there are no large gatherings. One of its most effective features is that it enables contact tracing, so if someone does fall sick the employer can easily track anyone who may have been in contact and take necessary measures.
Studio Priestman Goode, based in London, has published a revised train seating design that is aimed at increasing the seating capacity of the train. While overcrowding is not an option for our current scenario, this revised design named Island Bay seat design now folds up to allow for the passenger’s bike to be kept upright while maintaining the social distancing that is the need of the hour. “As transport designers, the ‘first and last mile’ has always been important considerations for us as our design approach considers the entire customer journey,” said PriestmanGoode founder Paul Priestman.
While social distancing is pivotal to our ‘new normal’, PPE and face mask’s are equally important to the protect ourselves as well as the people surrounding us – check out our collection of innovative face mask designs to keep you COVID-free!