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5 Areas That Need To Rethink Social Distancing Design

5 Areas That Need To Rethink Social Distancing Design-Eclectic Trends

Movements usually boil slowly until they come to the surface, grow, and eventually become a trend spread in various disciplines. Some convert into a mainstream phenomenon, others stay niche, and disappear after a while. We did not see a movement or trend for social distancing design coming up (though they were a few examples in Japan) but had to figure this out overnight.

The post-pandemic norm will lead to INNOVATIVE RE-DISTRIBUTION.

We can expect this term to be the new buzz word once we’re back into public life.

Designers are getting ready for a new era where services, products, and spaces need to be redesigned, so consumers want to book again and support, among others, the hospitality industry. The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates a global loss of 75 million jobs if the situation persists into this summer.

And while it’s early to say how tourists will react this year,

As a general prediction for the hospitality industry, we can expect in the next 18 months more focus on local eco-friendly and cultural offer that highlight environmental, social, and community care.”
Gudy Herder



We’d like to introduce today five specific examples belonging each to a different industry, most of them still to be produced or currently trialed. They all include physical distance while mingling, traveling, working, or just moving from one point to another.

1// RESTAURANT DESIGN – Intimate Dining


Separate Greenhouse or ‘Serres Séparées’ are small glass cabins built for two or three people, creating an intimate atmosphere while dining as an answer to open a restaurant with limited space.

While the concept started being trialed only for family and friends of staff from the ETEN restaurant located in Amsterdam, it certainly looks cozy, as diners enjoy candle-lit meals with a waterside view. The new redistribution seems now to take off and be very successful with a long waiting list.

5 Examples Of The New Social Distancing Design-Eclectic Trends

5 Examples Of The New Social Distancing Design-Eclectic Trends


2//FASHION – Sunglasses Shield


Protective masks will most likely be the new fashion accessory in 2020 commonly worn by the general public as outbreaks continue. The trick is to make them secure and comfortable at the same time. Joe Doucet has designed a shield mask that looks like an extended pair of sunglasses. For now, we’ll need to accept his 3D design version as no photoshoots are happening these days.

Doucet, who is currently searching for a brand or manufacturing partner to produce the shield, imagines that the entire device would be made out of polycarbonate and manufactured in the same way as typical sunglasses.



3//TRAVEL – Yin Yang Seating


Yin Yan, the cosmic duality and set of two opposing and complementing principles, were the principle when thinking of passengers facing away from the direction of air travel. This might be a structure we’ll see more often in the future when it comes to public transport.

Avio Interiors devises the Janus seat, so named after the two-faced Roman god. It aims to create social distance on board by changing the fundamental way we expect to fly, with one-third of passengers facing away from the direction of travel. In addition, a large transparent screen around the top of the seats is shielding each passenger from their immediate neighbor and from those moving around in the aisle.

5 Examples Of The New Social Distancing Design Trend-Avio Interiors-Eclectic Trends


4// PUBLIC SPACES – Modular Frame


How are we going to spend our time outdoors and in communal areas? C’entro designed by studio SBGA Blengini Ghirardelli is a fiberglass composition meant for two people and inspired by camping tents, it can be dismantled and carried in an easy-to-carry and portable bag. C’entro is an Italian expression meaning I’m involved’, ‘I’m in’; ‘I fit in’.

We like to define C’entro as an instrument to socialize rather than a barrier. This device originated from the research into new methods of socialization, to make the physical separation easier by not blocking the interaction between people.”
Co-founder Agostino Ghirardelli



5 Examples Of The New Social Distancing Design-Eclectic Trends


5// INTERIOR DESIGN – Partition Design


Room dividers or privacy screens have been around for the past 18 months, designed to redefine spaces whenever necessary. Also, their acoustic-friendly characteristics made them a perfect fit for flexible work environments. Now, they gain newfound importance within corporate structures considering the safety of their employees but can also be a new option for restaurants, hotels, care facilities, or waiting rooms/areas.

Factory Of The Future is a spatial design collection by Dutch Invertuals, they come in different shapes, materials, and colors to blend into any interior. They might be an option for the return of the cubicle though they won’t give a guarantee to be able to stay focused and productive.

Since February, there has been a 300 per cent increase in people searching “how to get your brain to focus”, an 110 per cent increase in “how to focus better”, and 60 per cent rise in “how to increase focus”.




If you like a further and more scientific reading on how we deal now with our lack of focus (and why), please read this article.

5 Examples Of The New Social Distancing Design

5 Examples Of The New Social Distancing Design

Ph: Ronald Smits

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