The Quarantine Chronicles: Episode 3

“pandemic-proof” non-emergency medical transport system

Biomega founder Jens Martin Skibsted has created NemBot, a concept for convoys of driverless e-vehicles to transport goods and patients around cities in isolation. NemBot would allow high-risk people such as asthma or cancer patients to be moved around a city in their own quarantined cabins without putting key workers at risk.

“When Covid-19 hit, we realised that many of the freight issues were the same ones that prohibited a good mobility response to the pandemic,” said the Danish designer. “The existing solutions just clog up the city and pollute and hinder economic development,” he added.

The basic interior cabin design would be adaptable to serve different transportation purposes. The pods could, for instance, be used to deliver cargo such as medicine or samples via removable trolleys equipped with cryogenic units powered by the vehicle’s battery system.


Pharrell Williams partners with Pentatonic to create coronavirus cutlery set

The Pebble is a bring-your-own cutlery set for the coronavirus pandemic made from recycled CDs by design studio Pentatonic in collaboration with singer Pharrell Williams’ creative brand I Am Other. The kit comprises of a knife, a fork, a spoon, a straw and a set of chopsticks that fold away inside a round case that can be easily carried.

Pebble is the first item in Otherware, a collaboration between Pentatonic – a studio specialising in objects for the circular economy – and Pharrell Williams’ creative brand I Am Other. As a nod to Pharrell Williams’ music career, Pentatonic made The Pebble partly out of recycled CDs. Pentatonic estimates that 10 billion CDs and DVDs have been disposed of in the USA alone since 2005 as people switch to streaming services.


Arup designs parklets to help Liverpool’s restaurants reopen during social distancing measures

The engineering firm Arup has designed parklets, hybrid street furniture to help Liverpool’s restaurants reopen as the UK’s coronavirus lockdown lifts.

Arup collaborated with the city council and Meristem Design to develop the scheme, called Liverpool Without Walls. The modular elements slot together to create outdoor seating areas made from hardwood, screened from each other with plants and perspex glass.

Starting on 4 July the first of nine parklets will be installed on Bold Street, a thoroughfare in the city with many bars and cafes.

Arrival launches electric bus with features to help people travel safely following pandemic

Electric vehicle brand Arrival has launched a zero-emissions bus aimed at making public transport viable in the coronavirus era. The bus was designed with a number of features to ensure safe travel including a no-touch bell and removable seats to facilitate social distancing. Cantilever seating and smooth interior surfaces with no seams between wall and floor means the bus is easy to clean effectively.

“The configurable seating means that operators can change the configuration overnight at the depot to increase or decrease the number to meet demand or government directives on capacity levels, for example during times like the recent pandemic,” said Arrival spokesperson Victoria Tomlinson.

The Manser Practice envisions the post-pandemic hotel

UK architecture studio The Manser Practice has outlined how hotels could be adapted to allow social distancing when they reopen, and how future designs will be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Post-pandemic hotels will have no receptionists and will adopt touchless access, one-way systems and larger rooms with inbuilt gyms according to The Manser Practice, which has designed numerous hotels including several for Hilton.

The coronavirus could also lead to a rejection of Airbnb, the death of hotel conferencing, the return to favour of the paternoster lift and the construction of custom-built, self-contained isolation hotel rooms. The studio predicts that a key focus of future hotel rooms will be cleanliness and the reduction of unnecessary contact – something that is hard to achieve in shared spaces with a quick turnover of guests. This could lead people to move away from private rental services like Airbnb in favour of larger hotel chains.

Manser foresees larger hotel rooms with space to exercise and delivery hatches