Dezeen's top 10 socially distant designs of 2020

In a year when coronavirus restrictions were at the forefront of most minds, many designers focused their efforts towards creating safer environments. To continue our review of 2020, we've rounded up 10 of the most popular designs for social distancing.


Parc de la Distance by Precht studio

Austria-based studio Precht designed a concept for a maze-like park that would enable people to maintain social distancing while visiting public outdoor places during the coronavirus pandemic, being physically divided by 90-centimetre-wide hedges.

The winding Parc de la Distance is the studio's vision of what a park would look like if the rules of social distancing were considered as a design guideline.

Find out more about Parc de la Distance ›


Well-Distance-Being by Livable

Research and design platform Livable created a visible representation of social distancing in the form of rattan cages worn over the head and body.

Called the Well-Distance-Being, the wearable cages take a form similar to crinolines and are designed to encourage people to keep their distance from each other to avoid spreading the coronavirus.

Find out more about the Well-Distance-Being ›


Social-distancing office by Weston Williamson + Partners

London-based architecture studio Weston Williamson + Partners outlined its plans for a socially distant workplace back in May, which included transparent screens around desks, hands-free doors and employing a barista and a cook so employees wouldn't have to use a shared kitchen.

While the studio made these plans based on its own office, co-founder Chris Williamson believed they could act as a template for other firms trying to adapt their offices to enable workers to safely return.

Find out more about Weston Williamson + Partners' social-distancing office ›


Green dots on High Line by Paula Scher

Graphic designer Paula Scher painted 1,000 green dots at two-metres apart across New York's High Line park, after it reopened to the public in July following the coronavirus lockdown.

The green dots acted as markers for social distancing, and covered the benches, seats and ground of the public park in repeated intervals.

Find out more about the green dots ›


StoDistante by Caret Studio

Caret Studio had a similar idea for a public social-distancing system inside an Italian town plaza, however instead of dots, the designers chose to paint a 1.8-metre grid of squares onto the cobblestones of Piazza Giotto.

The StoDistante installation was a temporary solution for reactivating public spaces in the region of Tuscany after the Covid-19 lockdown.

Find out more about the StoDistante installation ›


White circles on Domino Park grass in New York City

Meanwhile, in New York's Domino Park, the grass was painted with white circles set at 1.8 metres apart that members of the public could sit inside to ensure they were a safe distance from others.

Located in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighbourhood, the waterfront park was one of the first in the city to come up with a way for implementing social distancing by six feet.

Find out more about Domino Park's white circles ›


CoronaCrisisKruk by Object Studio

Dutch design firm Object Studio created a portable bench that enables two people to sit together while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

Called CoronaCrisisKruk, the bench comprises two stools joined together by a beam with a handle at its centre that allows the user to carry it to their desired location.

The furniture is made from CNC-milled birch plywood pieces that slot and screw together, and was shortlisted for Dezeen Awards 2020 in the seating design category.

Find out more about the CoronaCrisisKruk bench ›


Here Comes the Sun by Paul Cocksedge

This sun-shaped blanket by Paul Cocksedge was designed to enable people to socialise safely outdoors during the summer. Cocksedge made the design open-source so that anyone could make it themselves.

The blanket comprises a looping section of material in the shape of an outline of a circle and four separate pieces of fabric cut into circles, which can be placed around the outline at six feet apart.

Find out more about Here Comes the Sun ›


New Normal tableware by Studio Boir

This series of conceptual tableware items is Croatian Studio Boir's idea of safe, socially distant dining. It features five items made from steel and stone that allow users to dine together during the pandemic.

This includes an elongated spoon that enables couples to feed each other from a distance.

Find out more about the New Normal tableware ›


Social-distancing school furniture by UNIT Fabrications

UK furniture brand UNIT Fabrications built a series of colourful mobile screens for Charles Dickens Primary School in London to help its pupils return from the coronavirus lockdown in a socially distant manner.

Made earlier this year in June, the screens were made from birch plywood and painted with bright colours in a bid to design something that "didn't pull from the material language of a pandemic", like plastic.

Find out more about UNIT Fabrications' school furniture ›