As the coronavirus pandemic has shaken the world, we find ourselves in uncharted design territory. Designers need to be more creative than ever before with their commercial interior design and quickly create real-time changes. Offices and workplaces around the world are making changes to embrace the new social distancing measures and keep team members and the public safe. As we start going back to work, there are so many new obstacles to overcome, yet we are not alone. Coronavirus has affected nearly every country in the world, so we can learn from other countries how businesses have responded to the epidemic. When it come to Covid-19 design inspiration, thinking outside the box and adding humour could be key features in the approaches taken.
Greenhouse restaurants in Amsterdam
It may seem surreal to see pop up trailers, screens and social distancing tiles and mats, but all of these are an essential step in the fight against coronavirus. Creative businesses have been quick to repurpose spaces such as sheds and greenhouses to create socially distanced bubbles. In Amsterdam, a restaurant has opened with customers sitting in separate, distanced greenhouses. Team members are also wearing face shields, PPE and using long platters, so they don’t come in to contact with customers. A London restaurant that would normally have glass igloos outside only at Christmas time now has them for the summer – so families can stay in their social bubble.
Pool noodle hats in Germany
You may also have seen the cafe in Schwerin, Germany which recently featured on the news. As they reopened after lockdown, customers were asked to wear pool noodle hats to remind them to keep apart from others! This may be a bit much for your office, but fun reminders to maintain a social distance are an essential new design consideration. In other public settings cartoon characters and giant bears are filling seats that can’t be occupied if social distancing rules are to apply. There is likely to be a greater emergence of using humour rather than solemn messaging to keep people safe.
Mood-boosting graphics in the USA
Morale boosting signage has been seen around the world, from rainbows in windows, to thank you notes for carers. Tamara Shopsin, an American illustrator and designer, has been spreading positive messages with her free, printable PDF posters. Her posters include bold thank-you notes to postal workers and bright, eye-catching signs which encourage social distancing.
Chasing rainbows in the UK
The Chase the Rainbow campaign has been a strong unifying symbol as we have stayed in our houses to limit the spread of Covid 19 and supported our incredible health professionals. In Liverpool, Hull and Dudley road markers have written thank-you messages outside hospitals to encourage and thank staff permanently. A rainbow in a design scheme is a good subtle reminder of the importance of social distancing and hygiene requirements to ensure the NHS isn’t overloaded.