Creative and Surprising Ideas from the Corona Crisis (1)

Can you design inventive social distancing devices that encourage socializing?

Focus: come up with a plan for a public park that would ensure people do not cross paths and remain at a safe distance at all times.

Confusing structures can be simple. Example: Vienna social distancing maze.

A garden maze confronts participants with many choices or paths to get to the center or goal. It is basically a puzzle. The maze-like park ensure people do not cross paths and remain at a safe distance by winding lanes that are separated by wide hedges.


Feel inspired by other confusing structures to design a park, for example:

  1. climbing frame
  2. dome
  3. bowling game
  4. asymmetrical tree

Focus: How would we ensure people keep their distance from their fellow visitors in museums?

The EGOpro Active Tag, which was developed by the Florence-based company Advanced Microwave Engineering—looks like a necklace (or those audio tour devices that some museums use) and utilizes radio technology to measure the distance between two tags. So if you get a little too close to someone than the recommended safe distance of 2 meters or 6.5 feet, the device will begin to flash a red light and vibrate.

Feel inspired by other technical or non-technical devices to keep social distance in:

  1. stores, for example, the mandatory use of a (large) shopping cart to keep a good distance.
  2. beaches
  3. streets
  4. cinemas

Focus: Use the 1.5 m distance restrictions as an opportunity to craft a rare experience in a restaurent.

Chef Patrick O’Connell was trying to figure out what the new normal will look like in half (or less)-filled restaurants and decided to get creative rather than feel compromised. With restrictions on capacity, he decided that empty tables will be theatrically dressed with mannequins.  Signature’s costume shop manager, Frederick Deeben, went to work pulling costumes and accessories to outfit the mannequins—dining couples—in 1940s style dress.

Feel inspired to construct more ideas for keeping social distance in an interesting way in

  1. bars
  2. theatres
  3. dance festivals
  4. community orchestra

Focus: How to play football and make sure the players can keep social distancing?

This idea focuses on reshaping amateur football pitches to allow for ¨social distance ¨ matches. It proposes placing colourful marking on the pitch highlight the area that each player can occupy so they do not come in contact with each other. For 15 more ideas, but try first yourself! :

Focus: Design a picknic blanket so that you can socialise safely and confidently” outdoors.

Feel inspired to design playful social distancing for:

  1. streets
  2. birthday parties
  3. promotions at universities
  4. waiting by parents for their children at school
  5. an airport departure hall

Biomimicry ideas

Masks are used to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. They are recommended to use when we cannot keep the recommended social distancing distance. In many countries, it is obligatory to use masks when you for instance go shopping.

Can you design a mask that is easy and cheap to manufacture, made of sustainable materials, and transported and package in eco-friendly way?

The mask could be safely to re-use or there could be some other personal care product such as a lotion or gel that we could put on our hands or face that would degrade the virus on contact.

For inspiration check animals that self-isolate. Any ideas for humans?


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