Truly innovative global design-forward products as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic

From plexiglass protective shields and vibrant PPE's to experimental blankets and elegant room dividers, these products enable social distancing while still being tasteful

By Pallavi Mehra

January, 2021

Micrashell is a futuristic PPE, which enables social distancing while still being aesthetically pleasing
Photo Credit-Production Club, Inc

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has inspired artists and interior design brands all over the world to create avant-garde products that can be utilised in the 'new normal' post the lockdown. Additionally, some products that were created before the pandemic have gained new relevance in current times. Here’s a look at 5 such trailblazing products that are aesthetically pleasing and protective.

Micrashell is an air-tight, long lasting suit

Photo Credit-Production Club, Inc

Micrashell

Production Club, a Los Angeles headquartered creative studio, has designed a futuristic PPE known as Micrashell, which can be adorned for live events or gigs post the pandemic. This new design project is a vibrant, easy to wear, disinfectable, space suit-like PPE that allows for socialising without distancing. Micrashell has a number of distinctive features such as a drink supply system, mounted-in speakers, smartphone integration, a privacy-driven voice communicator, and a breathable helmet.

Micrashell can be adorned for live events or gigs post the pandemic

Photo Credit-Production Club, Inc

Micrashell comprises an air-tight suit and helmet that are made of high-performance and tear-resistant fabrics making it long-lasting. The helmet has an N95 standard filtration system, which has been approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. The colourful suit has a separate top-half and bottom-half, making it easy to wear and take off. Moreover, it also comes with a camera system and even a ‘camera app,’ which can connect with smartphones to take photos and videos.

Micrashell is a futuristic, design-forward PPE

Photo Credit-Production Club, Inc

Plex’Eat 

As it’s not possible to eat while wearing a mask, designers around the world are conceptualising inventive ways to keep people safe in restaurants and bars. One such innovative dining design is Plex’Eat by French designer Christophe Gernigon. Plex’Eat is a transparent, suspended plexiglass shield or a large protective visor for people to safely dine at restaurants while maintaining distance. As people sit at a table at a restaurant, Gernigon’s Plex’Eat surrounds their upper body.

Plex’Eat is a transparent, suspended plexiglass shield

Photo Credit-Christophe Gernigon Studio

This plexiglass shield is evocative of a lampshade and is designed to hang from the ceiling like pendant lights. It is chic, while also being safe. Plex’Eat has an opening at the back for users to conveniently sit and stand up. It is made of clear plexiglass so that diners can clearly see their meals and each other. Furthermore, Plex’Eat is lightweight and can quickly be disassembled between sittings for sanitisation. In addition to restaurants and bars, Plex’Eat can also be placed in casinos, salons, hotels and other public places.

Plex'Eat is evocative of a lampshade and is designed to hang from the ceiling like pendant lights

Photo Credit-Christophe Gernigon Studio

‘Here Comes the Sun’ Blanket

'Here Comes The Sun’ is a unique blanket that can be used to socialise safely in the current ‘new normal’ scenario. British design firm - Paul Cocksedge Studio’s experimental piece of fabric titled ‘Here Comes The Sun’ is a response to the social distancing guideline. Cocksedge envisioned this blanket to assist people to keep a two-metre distance in social situations like a picnic on the beach or relaxing in a garden with friends. The blanket is known as ‘Here Comes The Sun’ because of its sun-like circular design.

The 'Here Comes The Sun' Blanket helps people keep two metres distance

Photo Credit-Mark Cocksedge

Paul Cocksedge chose a round form for the blanket as it is “an innately pleasing shape” and it's typically the shape in which a group of people gather. Furthermore, its circular design allows for it to envelop around an object, such as a tree. The 'Here Comes The Sun’ blanket comprises a circular outline and four separate, smaller circles, which are connected to the outline at a distance of two metres from each other. Moreover, the design of this innovative blanket can be downloaded for free so that anyone can make their own version.

The 'Here Comes The Sun' Blanket helps people maintain social distancing

Photo Credit-Mark Cocksedge

COV-Desk Partition

Italian trans-media artist and furniture designer Matteo Cibic has conceptualised a minimal and sleek, transparent protective shield for office desks known as the COV-Desk Partition. As people continue to work from home or work from their office with social distancing measures in place, the COV-Desk Partition offers a safe and sophisticated solution. It is a compact and lightweight partition that can easily be assembled, disassembled and transported, and is extremely useful in these Coronavirus times. Produced and distributed by FusinaLab, a luxury modern Italian furniture company, this product by Matteo Cibic is a part of FusinaLab’s COVID-19 collection of room dividers. This range also includes room dividers for living rooms, dining rooms, interiors of hotel lobbies and restaurants.

The COV-Desk Partition is also available with the plexiglass in the shape of a cloud

Photo Credit-Matteo Cibic Studio

The COV-Desk Partition is made of transparent plexiglass with a thickness of 5 mm. It is supported by anodized aluminium stands and is available in three colours - natural grey aluminium, anodized black and anodized gold. The size of the partition can be customised and it can be assembled and disassembled without tools. Additionally, the COV-Desk Partition is also offered with the plexiglass in the shape of a cloud.

The COV-Desk Partition is a minimal and sleek, transparent protective shield for office desks

Photo Credit-Matteo Cibic Studio

88 Secrets Screen 

Earlier this year, renowned Slovenian designer Nika Zupanc unveiled the 88 Secrets Screen in collaboration with famous furniture design brand Scarlet Splendour. With the world slowly opening up post the Coronavirus lockdown, this screen gains new relevance. The 88 Secrets Screen, a delicately crafted piece, is a tall and elegant room divider. It can be placed in hotels, restaurants or homes to allow for social distancing. This luxurious design features a golden-hued metal frame with meticulously pleated silk fabric. The silk fabric is available in two quaint colours - violet and blue.

Inspired by the 88 constellations officially recognised by NASA, each piece from the 88 Secrets collection tells a story. The 88 Secrets Screen communicates the things that cannot be spoken, with a distinct poetic quality. Especially during the ongoing pandemic, this screen brings a sense of calm and normality, while still enabling social distancing. Furthermore, Nika Zupanc’s consistent yet ambiguous attitude to femininity and romanticism is reflected in the design of this screen. The 88 Secrets Screen also showcases Scarlet Splendour’s one-of-a-kind craftsmanship and evokes a sense of timelessness and magnificence.