By now, most physical traces of the pandemic have disappeared from our environment; gone are the ubiquitous Plexiglas shields, the discarded masks littering gutters. But as an Industrial Design student at Germany's Basel Academy of Art and Design, at the height of the lockdown, Damian Byland wondered: Ought this strange period in time be commemorated with permanent physical objects, that might indicate the difficulties we faced to future generations?
Working with Vitra and architect Chrissie Muhr, Byland began sketching ideas for concrete furniture for public spaces. The idea was to provide a place for workers cooped up in home offices.
Eventually he settled on two forms, a social-distance-compliant bench and an outdoor cubicle for one:
"CONCRETE WORK" was developed for office workers in the "home office" to separate work and private life. It consists of two concrete modules for the public area, which act as a contemporary document of the Covid 19 pandemic and express the associated difficult relationship between home and the outside world.
Byland, by the way, also designed that excellent Kai bench.
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