You might soon be able to live in a bubble — literally — to fight the Coronavirus. The new face shield from artistic collective Plastique Fantastique is a futuristic, spheric, and transparent helmet. Like living inside an upside-down fishbowl, the head is completely immersed in a plastic helmet, where water is replaced with air.
“The Coronavirus is changing our relation to each other and affecting our perception of reality,” explain Marco Canevacci and Yena Young, founders of the Berlin-based studio. “This virus is very democratic: it spreads over the borders, has no preference for gender, social, cultural, or economic status. In this time of lockdown, we wonder about the mutation of our social life and the effects of the deprivation of physical touch.” Even in Berlin, mandatory face coverings over the mouth and nose have been required since April 27, inspiring the duo to craft the iSphere.
To realize the bizarre face shield, you only need a few constructive elements, making it easily reproducible at home. The team at Plastique Fantastique hopes the open source project will be studied, copied, and even implemented. There are also “pro” versions of the covering, born from the coupling of two semi-spheres in PVC, which include the insertion of a microphone and various solutions for better breathability. The cost of this unique contraption: 20€. Estimated time to produce: 30 minutes max.
“The iconic design is inspired by the science fiction comics of the 50s and the creations of the utopian movements of the ‘60s,” continues the collective, stating that it’s “a funny and serious object that stimulates how to approach this exceptional situation”. The two creatives talk about a shared sense of the everyday: taking the metro, elevator, and escalator, even entering a public telephone booth.
And so, from the diy masks in Italy by Pastina to the protective visors of Britain’s Foster + Partners, we arrive in Germany, where face shields are spherical. To each his own!
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