A barrier for strangers in pandemic times

Conditio sine qua non for coexistence in today's public space, the barrier is rethought by New Office Works as a modular and colorful device to facilitate sociability.

In times of pandemic, the use of barriers in public space may represent the only feasable solution to allow people to approach and sit in close proximity. In line with this philosophy, Hong Kong-based New Office Works imagines partitions for outdoor spaces that are designed not so much for those who already know each other, but for strangers who can re-accustom to a semblance of social coexistence.

The project, called Brief Encounters, makes use of two seemingly banal elements such as an iron frame and a colored transparent plastic sheet, assembled according to circular paths that guarantee both safety and openness of the visual field towards others. Far away,so close, passers-by enliven their social experience also thanks to the use of color: when two colored barriers visually overlap, they give life to a third color, a metaphor of a social experience that gets renewed even through fleeting encounters.

Hong Kong
New Office Works

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