As certain lockdown restrictions begin to be eased in some countries, attention is turning to what the next stage of the 'new normal' might look like – especially when it comes to public spaces. From social distancing to protective wear (check out our guide to where to buy a face mask), certain measures will no doubt remain part of life for a while. But thanks to one London architectural studio, you might soon be able to enjoy a picnic with friends. Sort of.
Paul Cocksedge Studio has shared an open source blanket design, optimistically named Here Comes the Sun. It consists of four small, equidistant circles joined together by a large ring – leaving a massive hole in the middle. The small circles are each designed to accommodate a single person, while the large ring keeps everybody the necessary 2m apart. You might have to shout, but hey – it's better than nothing.
Perhaps the best thing about the design is that you can make it yourself using a few household items including scissors, a sewing machine and 9sqm of "a non-fraying material such as felt". You can find Cocksedge's guide on dropbox (opens in new tab). And if you're feeling particularly crafty, take a look at our guide to how to make a face mask.
"It's so easy to misjudge two metres," Paul Cocksedge told Dezeen (opens in new tab), "especially when we're out again socialising with friends and family." He describes Here Comes the Sun as a "playful answer" to the problem.
A few months ago we'd have found the very idea of the blanket utterly bemusing and even now, we have some questions. How do you carry it? Is picnic food allowed to enter the GIANT HOLE? Is it just us who think it resembles two Mickey Mouse headbands stuck together? It might look bizarre, but then we must remember – these are bizarre times. The blanket may well serve a useful purpose when picnics are back on the cards. It'll save us from having to carrying a tape measure to the park, for a start.
It's also great to see Paul Cocksedge Studio make the design open source – yet another show of solidarity from the creative community during these unchartered times. Check out our list of the best free online resources for creatives stuck at home for more inspiration.