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In these times of COVID-19, social distancing has become the topic on everyone’s mind. But with the current state of panic and uncertainty, public spaces are often resorting to awkward quick fixes that make people feel safe without much regard for long-term practicality. Patchwork solutions are popping up in public spaces all over the world, but they’re inadvertently bringing up uncomfortable and anxious feelings for everyone. Solutions such as big X-marks between every third seat can separate families, making them sit unreasonably far from one another. Also, plexiglas separators can bring up negative associations such as feelings of punishment or isolation. And while these solutions fulfill their function of separating people, it’s at the expense of the warm and inviting feeling that public spaces should have. The team at Green Furniture Concept took on the challenge of developing solutions using ‘sensible social distancing’.
How can social distancing be approached more sensibly?
Are there ways to maintain the important feeling of safety without sacrificing the element of warmth and togetherness in a public space? We don’t have to look far to realise the concept of sensible social distancing is out there already. People have proven themselves to be conscious enough to keep their distance in queues at the grocery store or at the bank, for example.
But how does this translate into public space seating? A sensible solution would keep families together and encourage everyone’s civic consciousness. In order to make people feel at ease in public places again, we must design social distancing measures that can be integrated in a non-intrusive manner rather than the band-aid solutions we see today.
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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