The French designer, who specialises in interiors, said he was inspired to make Plex’eat during his “creative nocturnal meanderings during these months of confinement”.
Bars and restaurants around the world closed to stop the spread of coronavirus, and even as they reopen social-distancing rules make it almost impossible to return to their former layouts.
Gernigon said he came up with Plex’eat as a stylish solution to this problem, which imagines a way people could return to eating out with friends while reducing the changes of catching or passing on the virus.
“Though we would have preferred not to arrive at this point, it is now better to imagine alternative,” said Gernigon. “Designed, elegant and aesthetic solutions that will guarantee social distancing regulations.”
Shaped like a large lampshade, the transparent plastic hoods would be suspended above tables like pendant lights.
People would sit underneath them while eating and drinking, close enough to hear each other but without breathing on their companions.
Plex’eat’s current dimensions are 80 centimetres by 70 centimetres, although Gernigon said he is also developing larger models for couples and whole families to sit under together.
Social-distancing measures pose a unique challenge to the hospitality industry. Milan’s city council has put an open call out to designers to devise way’s for the Italian capital’s bars and restaurants to re-open safely.
One restaurant in Amsterdam has been running trial events where diners can book a slot in their own private greenhouse and be served by waiters in face shields.
MARGstudio, Alessio Casciano Design and Angeletti Ruzza came up with the idea of an inflatable face shield people can wear to go out for drinks with each other, while Production Club is working on a suit with a built-in air system that would allow people to go out clubbing during the pandemic.
Images courtesy of Christophe Gernigon.