Contact-less ways to operate doors are among the design interventions employed in the fight against the pandemic. Adapta created a device that allows people to open common round door knobs using an arm or elbow. Matteo Zallio created a 3D-printed tool that can be used for opening doors. See more examples here.
Ashla Systems is leading the way with smart elevators designed to sense when they are empty of passengers and use UV-C lights to kill viruses and bacteria. In the US, elevators make 18 billion passenger trips a year and each elevator carries an average of 20,000 passengers. Elevators carry 40 times more bacteria than public toilet seats according to a study by the University of Arizona.
Airlines are re-envisioning the middle seat in an effort to maintain social distancing while on the air as well as the ground.
As borders tightened to help stop the spread of the virus, questions remain about what travel would mean after re-opening. Australia and New Zealand are considering a travel bubble that includes neighboring Pacific Island nations, that have been greatly impacted by the lack of tourists and that would allow the flow of migrant workers to continue.
Re-opening schools is instrumental to restarting the economy according to Bill Gates. Education is changing around the world as classes move on-line and as classrooms transform for social distancing. See this gallery for how different places have coped, including school cafeterias. De-densifying and one-way traffic flow are among the solutions cited for how to increase safety when children get back to school.
With photo shoots canceled and stores closed, brands are reaching out to consumers at home, adding a rare sense of authenticity when the private and public domains blend. Zara and Entire world have used images shot at home by models while Sephora and West Elm have created Zoom backgrounds for users to download.
Borders attained a new meaning as each country braced to protect and care for its own citizens. Flights were grounded, airports closed, and highways blocked among major European nations. Borders between states in the US also transformed into checkpoints to limit potential carriers of the virus from entering.
Outbreaks and diseases have been named using geographic places and cities – think Spanish flu, Ebola, Zika. Experts warn this should be avoided as not only is it misleading, it can also lead to xenophobia and racism. The coronavirus has already made people of Asian descent around the world targets of racism, keeping customers away from restaurants and Asian people from using public spaces.
Cities with lots of green space and provisions for cycling are healthier. Providing handwashing facilities in public places and parks could further help to reduce the risk of passing on infections.
Access to greenery is instrumental to health and well-being. See here for ideas of how to surround yourself with plants in your home by Jason Chongue, author and creative director of Melbourne-based “plant curation” studio the Plant Society.