As the pandemic continues to rage across the globe and drastically shift our relationship to public spaces, designers, makers, and manufacturers are hard at work creating solutions to keep us safer and healthier. Here are eight compelling designs that are as thoughtful as they're practical.
3D-Printed Door Openers by Hewlett-Packard
Hewlett-Packard is offering 3D-printable tools that can be used to open doors without touching potentially contaminated handles. For easy portability, the personal door opener (above) can be attached to belts or clothing parts. Approximately 40 personal openers and almost 120 hands-free openers (top) can be 3D-printed in a full build using an HP Jet Fusion 5200 and 4200 3D Printing Solutions. The free design files can be found at Hewlett-Packard.
Dining Greenhouses in Amsterdam
Mediamatic ETEN, a waterfront restaurant in Amsterdam, Netherlands, installed individual compact greenhouses along the water’s edge that allow patrons to dine while maintaining physical distance. The waitstaff, who wear protective gear, serve plant-based offerings atop long wood boards to avoid contact with guests.
Barrier Screens by Versare
Versare, a Minneapolis, Minnesota, company that manufactures cubicles and room dividers, has shifted focus and is now making acrylic screens for retail checkout counters and reception areas in public spaces. The screens, which protect both customers and employees, are offered in various heights, widths, and configurations.
Social Distancing Circles in Domino Park, Brooklyn
To encourage social distancing in Domino Park, a popular waterfront park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, white circles, drawn six feet apart, designate places to sit or stand for visitors. Applied with chalk paint on artificial grass, the eight-foot circles are arranged in symmetrical rows and create a graphic, organized aesthetic for the park. White circles have also shown up in San Francisco parks.
Modular Hospital Rooms by Jupe Health
Humanitarian startup Jupe Health has developed affordable, shippable modular hospital rooms that are flat-packed during transport and pop up to take on their three-dimensional form when put in place. The rooms can be quickly dispatched to crisis zones: A standard flatbed truck can carry up to 24 of the compact shelters, and a cargo ship can pack 500,000 per trip. According to Jupe’s chief medical advisor Dr. Esther Choo, the rooms cost a fraction of what it takes to operate a single room in a standard hospital. "The health system has many overlapping needs right now, and cannot function well without all the pieces in place," says Dr. Choo.
Smart 5G Patrol Robot by Guangzhou Gosuncn Robot Co., Ltd.
The Guangzhou Gosuncn Robot Co., Ltd. upgraded its 5G-powered patrol robot, with new capabilities to monitor mask wearing and body temperatures in shopping malls and airports in China. The self-driving robots, which use Advantech technology, are equipped with five high-resolution cameras and infrared thermometers that scan the temperature of 10 people at a time within a radius of 16 feet.
Snorkel Mask-Turned-Emergency Ventilator by ISINNOVA
In collaboration with Dr. Renato Favero, ISINNOVA, an Italian engineering company, has devised custom 3D-printed components that transform a standard Decathlon International snorkeling mask into an emergency ventilator mask. The patent for the parts is now available for use worldwide.
Walk-In Testing Booth by CannonDesign
Inspired by Yang Ji General Hospital's testing enclosure in Seoul, South Korea, architect Albert Rhee, of New York–based design firm CannonDesign, has developed a walk-in testing booth that protects healthcare workers and patients alike, limiting exposure to COVID-19 during screenings and examinations. The booths, which feature transparent partitions and sealed gloves, help reduce the need for Personal Protective Equipment.
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