Style & Design | ON: DESIGN

Designing for good: Creators in Japan respond to the coronavirus

From face shields to social distancing apps, made-in-Japan creativity has got you covered

by Mio Yamada

Contributing writer

Recently designer Tokujin Yoshioka made the news by sharing instructions via his website and social media to make a simple and inexpensive over-the-mask face shield from a thin sheet of clear plastic and a pair of glasses or frames.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, other creators have also offered free information. Here are a few ideas that could help keep you safe.


Noonsiger's PandAid
Noonsiger’s PandAid site offers a range of practical info, tips and links.

Well-designed information

Nosigner, a champion of social design that became well known in 2014 for its compact disaster-preparedness kit, has launched PandAid, a COVID-19 portal offering information about the disease, appropriate hygiene, government help and more. The site is in Japanese, English and Chinese, with other language versions on the way, and includes instructions on how to make a mask from T-shirt fabric, how to self-diagnose, tips for at-home working and social distancing, as well as links to free online diversions and downloadable designs of COVID-19 precaution posters. It also offers a template and instructions on how to cut out a face shield from a clear plastic file folder.

www.pandaid.jp

Masks without sewing

For those unable to buy masks and don’t have sewing skills, Musubi, a furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) maker, has devised an easy way to create a mask from a 50-centimeter square furoshiki or handkerchief, a twist tie and two elastic bands. It takes just 1 minute and only involves folding. Instructions can be found on its YouTube channel.

www.ymds.co.jp

Oodesign's O-stick
Oodesign’s O-stick

Don’t touch anything

Taku Omura of Oodesign recently created the O-stick, a keyring with a small plastic wedge that allows you to push buttons and switches without touching them. They can be bought via Oodesign’s online store, but for those who have access to a 3D printer, the wedge design is now being offered as a free download.

https://oodesign.stores.jp

Party's AR app gives users visual cues so they can keep their distance | PARTY
Party’s AR app gives users visual cues so they can keep their distance

Party at a distance

Keisuke Terashima of experience designers Party has made an AR iOS Keep Distance Ruler to help users judge how far they are from another person. The site, which works best with iPhone X and later models, measures and maps out a 2-meter radius around the user. To use it, simply go to the distance ruler site, scan the area you are standing in by waving the phone around, then move the onscreen footprints to where your feet are and look around the area using the phone camera to see the radius.

https://prty.jp

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