Fostering community spirit while designing for social distancing in Covid-era cities.

Where We Stand was a design challenge that invited 15 leading creative agencies to respond to the new reality in cities amid the Covid-19 pandemic: the need for physical distancing.

In close collaboration with Sthuthi Ramesh, I proposed a project that embraced the two-metre ‘social distancing’ grid that emerged in many public places following the pandemic.

Our concept captured the joyful energy of crowds through colour, scale and the lingo of friendship from around the world. The result was a pattern of versatile graphic islands, some populated with phonetic greetings to encourage conversations about culture, and in doing so, strengthen community spirit, while respecting social-distancing guidelines.

Set among the multitude of water jets in London’s Granary Square, our project transformed an iconic public area into a lively urban beach.

Where We Stand is a project by AUFI

Samar Maakaroun and Sthuthi Ramesh were one of the contributing teams among 14 other design studios and collectives. Photography John Sturrock.