COVI/DESIGN #1

In this period of crisis, how is design responding? With this new column we will not talk about charity events, nor about inspirational contents for quarantine (we have already done it), but we will look at projects published in recent times trying to draw a logical thread and create a critic – in a light way. Today we present 3 projects, Mare 2020, Here comes the sun and BioVYZR.

Right now in Italy one of the biggest problems are… holidays! Apart from the horrendous plexiglass cubes “designed” by a company from Modena, the architect Raffaele Giannitelli (Surf Engineering studio) and the artist Filippo Riniolo developed “Mare 2020, the measure and the landscape”, a project curated by Francesco Cascino. Mare 2020 sees the study of a hexagonal layout – instead of a square one – and the presence of native plants on the beach:

“The best way to arrange (parasol and sun loungers) is not the square but the hexagon, therefore the hive. And we focused on common passages, on routes to get to the sea, on native plants, not on how to close people inside spaces, but make them enjoy them”. “It is a beehive system that contains both parasol and sun loungers and plants typical of the Mediterranean dune”

As Riniolo says, they didn’t design beach umbrellas but “we imagined through design and nature a new way of being at the sea and experiencing the world.”

The project has a very noble purpose: to enjoy the beach again in a respectful way, towards others, but above all, towards the environment. It is a pity that other actors have not been involved: probably by collaborating in a specific context, with a municipal administration and local experts, Mare 2020 could arrive at a more advanced development and really show us a new way of being at sea.

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Here come the sun, Paul Cocksedge. One of the truly “democratic” and entertaining projects for social distancing. The difference, compared to many other products, is that “Here comes the sun” is designed as a playful response and is OPEN-SOURCE (here you can find the instructions to download it).

Interaction with the user starts from the concept phase: children, relatives and friends can create and personalize their own blanket at cost 0. Such an object could also have a didactic function: it could be used in a nursery school to teach children the distancing and, at the same time, to make them build with cardboard/fabrics and scissors. Unlike other products, Here comes the sun not only helps you outside, but allows you to take advantage of your time at home to create something simple and functional.

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BioVYZR is an individual protection device that offers a face shield and keeps our “living” space uncontaminated. The air that is sucked into the helmet by a fan is purified and has positive pressure, to facilitate breathing. The product reached 1900% of the crowdfunding campaign launched on Indiegogo.
The problem? That the price of a BioVYZR with filter (to be changed) is 155 euros (reduced from 185). In such a moment, when work becomes a luxury, this product is not designed for everyone. The aesthetics? Let’s skip this.

All the projects presented are designed for new needs, but unlike the first two, BioVYZR is a product that can be purchased and costs a lot.
Mare 2020 wants to show us a new vision of holidays and life on the beach, but unfortunately it remains a concept project, far from the real problems of this specific period.
In our opinion, Here comes the sun, the simplest product presented today, is also the most concrete: through simple instructions the user learns to create his own blanket and uses his time at home with a manual and playful activity, to be shared even with the youngest ones.

See you next week with COVI-DESIGN # 2

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Cover / Here comes the sun, Paul Cocksedge

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