Dutch design studio Raw Color has suggested using odd socks to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The advice from medical experts is to use your elbow rather than your hands when coughing or sneezing, to prevent spreading Covid-19 germs onto surfaces.
Elbow Sock offers a way of keeping your clothes clean while following this practice, and encouraging others to do the same.
Raw Color‘s design is actually a DIY hack, rather than a product concept. The Eindhoven-based studio suggests you simply take a pair of scissors to any sock.
“In this period, we wanted to simulate the DIY mentality, to think about something that everybody can do, with an object everybody owns, without machinery,” explained studio co-founder Christoph Brach.
“While brainstorming, we found out that the sock has the perfect shape, with its heel, to fit onto an elbow,” he told Dezeen. “And we all have orphan socks that can be a resource.”
The design is based around the fact that germs can survive on fabric for up to five days after transference. So if someone with the virus sneezes frequently on their elbow, they risk spreading it around their home.
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With the Elbow Sock concept, you can make as many as you like and change them regularly. After wear, you simply transfer straight to the washing machine.
Brach and partner Daniera Ter Haar are known for their bright and colourful designs. Past projects include the Chromatology installation and the Temporary Trees performance.
Here, the pair have a practical reason for suggesting bold colours and patterns. They hope to create a visual reminder to others to practice better hygiene.
The spirit is the same as with the handmade face masks that people around the world have been making.
“We wanted to create some beauty in times of the serious corona situation, that also has symbolic meaning to it,” said Brach.
Elbow Sock was created for Create Cures, an initiative launched by Chinese designers Frank Chou and Chen Min, to find practical solutions to prevent spread of coronavirus.
The first designs created for the series included a wearable shield and a sterilising lamp.
Raw Colour’s proposal is by far the simplest and easiest. The designers hope this will help it to catch on.
“We are aware that this concept will not be the most practical concept to prevent corona from spreading,” Brach added. “But we believe every bit helps.”
Design: Raw Colour
Project team: Christoph Brach, Daniera ter Haar, Tijs Van Nieuwenhuysen, Mirjam de Bruijn, Noortje de Keijzer, Mattie Rasker