Innovation That Matters

The blanket can be made at home using a free pdf tutorial | Photo source Paul Cocksedge

Picnic blanket designed to ensure social distancing

Health & Wellbeing

An open-source blanket design helps people maintain an appropriate distance when socialising outside

Spotted: With lockdowns easing up around the world, one important question on people’s minds is how to ensure the recommended two-metre distance from non-family members is maintained. London designer Paul Cocksedge is helping to make this easier, with his solution for social-distanced picnicking. 

Cocksedge has designed a picnic blanket that helps people to socialise safely. Designs for the project, dubbed the Here Comes the Sun blanket, are available for free. The open-source design is made up of a circular loop of material and four fabric circles. These circles are placed around the centre at two-metre intervals.

The blanket is envisioned as a “playful” way for people to interact while ensuring they remain safe. The inspiration came to Cocksedge when he was taking a walk by himself and felt the need to be close to other people. He realised that if he, as a designer, found it difficult to know what makes up two metres without using a guide, then other people must also feel the same way.

“After the lockdown, socialising will come with a degree of uncertainty. As a designer who works with sizes and measurements on an everyday basis, I sometimes find it hard to accurately interpret two meters – which is a common problem we are all having at the moment,” Cocksedge explained.

Other innovations we have spotted to help make the transition to post-lockdown life easier include aeroplane seats designed to separate passengers and a self-checkout platform that can be used with almost any store.

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