Dezeen Magazine

Face shield by Joe Doucet

Joe Doucet designs face shield to be a fashion accessory

New York's Joe Doucet has designed a less "uncomfortable and awkward" face shield to protect against coronavirus that could be worn like a pair of sunglasses.

Doucet's conceptual design comprises a curved, see-through guard that fronts a dark sunglass lenses and arms. The minimal shield would be put on like a pair of glasses.

The designer developed the face shield in response to the question: "how do we encourage mass adoption of an unwanted necessity?". He hopes this version could be a more attractive option of personal protective equipment (PPE) for non-medical users.

Face shield by Joe Doucet

"Covid-19 is understandably going to have a longterm effect on how we re-engage with daily activities and the wider world," said Doucet.

"Until a vaccination is confirmed to be effective and rolled out through a global, mass immunisation programme, we all will have to integrate forms of social distancing and PPE into our daily routines."

Face shields are an effective way to protect the eyes, nose and mouth from Covid-19 infection. They are typically used in conjunction with masks and limited to frontline medical workers who are most at risk of infection. But they could become more commonly worn by the general public as outbreaks continue.

Face shield by Joe Doucet

In a recent interview with Dezeen, US physician and epidemiologist Michael Edmond said the public should wear a shield whenever they leave home.

Doucet believes, however, that current designs aren't comfortable enough to encourage people to wear them.

"Studies have shown that face shields or visors are much more effective than surgical style face masks, but in their current, basic format they are uncomfortable and awkward," he added.

"It is hoped that improving the basic face shield design will encourage far greater uptake of its usage and help everyone adjust to the 'new normal' that awaits us."

The designer has envisioned the shield in visuals he created with 3D design tools – a new skill he acquired in lockdown.  "I modeled these in Fusion 360 and rendered in Blender," he continued. "No photoshoots happening these days."

He create the renderings to look like a fashion shoot with models wearing the devices in empty streets..

Face shield by Joe Doucet

Doucet, who is currently searching for a brand or manufacturing partner to produce the shield, imagines that the entire device would be made out of polycarbonate and manufactured in the same way as typical sunglasses.

A number of architects and designers have re-focused design skills to create PPE, as hospitals and medical workers face shortages amid the crisis.

Brands including Nike and Apple, architects including Foster + Partners and BIG and educational institutions including Cambridge University and MIT have all developed or adapted designs for face shields recently, utilising 3D printing, laser cutting and even origami