October 7, 2020
COVID Innovations: Turning Challenge Into Change
“There’s a way to do it better—find it.”
Thomas Edison said that over 100 years ago, but the idea outlasts the invention he brought to businesses and homes on a global scale.
We’re in a season some would call crisis and some would call opportunity. One research study notes that “Interestingly, the current COVID-19 crisis has suggested that it may not always be the case that time is needed to develop a creative and innovative response, and creativity can nevertheless thrive under these conditions.”
This week we’re taking a look at businesses that have turned the misfortune and difficulty of this year into space for change and expanded enterprise.
Take a look. Get inspired. Find your innovation mindset.
- The Parklet: London-based engineering and design firm Arup designs COVID-safe, modular “parklets” to help restaurants reopen and people congregate without risk of infection. The modular elements slot together to create outdoor seating areas made from hardwood, screened from each other with plants and perspex glass. Learn more.
- The In-Car Care Unit: architecture firm NBBJ dreamt up a drive-through clinic – a midway point between telehealth, where doctors might miss critical symptoms, and physical clinic visits. It is designed to be easily deployed in hospital parking garages and would take up 60 feet of space (the amount of space between two columns in a hospital parking lot). Learn more.
- The Seis-Foot Cooler: The ‘Seis-Foot cooler’ from Heineken allows people to gather and imbibe at the minimum length distance the US Government advises people should stand from each other. The cooler is more of a marketing campaign than a viable new product, but nevertheless, 6-foot social drinking is born. Learn more.
- The UV-light Robot: This new MIT-developed robot uses UV light to kill COVID and other viruses as they live on surfaces and in the air in warehouses, schools, and offices. Learn more.
- The IKEA Post-COVID Home: IKEA’s design lab SPACE10 is rethinking the traditional ways we organize and structure our physical space. They’re exploring everything from optical sound systems to customized bookshelves fitted to walls with augmented reality. Learn more.
- The Self-Cleaning Mask: Israeli researchers developed a mask with a USB port that, when connected to a phone charger, can emit heat that disinfects and kills germs on the mask. The project is intended to help fight a PPE shortage. Learn more.
- The Capsule Chair: Designer Kateryna Sokolova developed a sound-absorbing capsule chair to help restructure post-COVID work environments. The cocoon-like chair creates a safe spatial boundary as well as a shield from distractions. Learn more.
- The Virtual Yearbook: a sibling team used Snapchat to popularize a virtual yearbook as students finished the 2020 school year remotely. The app, called HAGS, ‘Have a Great Summer’, lets students get yearbook signatures from their friends and classmates. Learn more.
Thousands of inventions are coming out of the current crisis and many of them are shared on Covid Innovations, a site launched in April of this year that highlights businesses and individuals around the world that are developing products and services to help us adapt and thrive in the current conditions. The brilliance and speed to change is remarkable. Consider the possibilities in today’s challenges and how they offer a blank slate to your space, your business and your future in your industry.