Whether we like it or not, masks are the new normal at least for the foreseeable future. It is now a universal guideline that everyone has to wear a mask when they step out. Designers, architects, fashion brands all over the world are using their software, laser cutters and 3D printers to make mask production faster (mass-k production, get it?) to fight shortages. New York-based designer Joe Doucet envisions the face shield creatively and takes it from being a symbol of our toughest days to a seamless part of our everyday fashion. When asked what influenced him to create the conceptual face shield, it was this question – how do we encourage the mass adoption of an unwanted necessity?
Due to the longterm effects of COVID-19 on our lives, the way we dress and interact will evolve. Till a vaccine is available globally, we will be governed by the laws of social distancing, and wearing PPE is crucial for our safety and of those around us. Studies show that visors & face shields are more effective than surgical masks but happen to be uncomfortable and obtrusive-looking. The ability to adapt and evolve are also the pillars of good design, so Doucet has designed a face shield that people will actually want to wear instead of feeling awkward or conscious about it. Just like everyone, Doucet is also in quarantine and has been learning new 3D design tools, he says “I modeled these in Fusion 360 and rendered in Blender, no photoshoots happening these days.”
The conceptual PPE features a curved form that is see-through and integrates the darker lens of sunglasses. The arms of the visor-sunglass are more comfortable than traditional masks. It covers your eyes as well which is important and not something we get out of the usual face masks. Doucet reimagines the existing face shield to be more minimal and visually appealing so that the product can be accepted into our lives faster. He wanted to make the face shield look more friendly and less alien-looking so that it encourages us to adapt and evolve with how our world is changing while being safe. “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,” says Doucet.