#dontstopdesign Architecture

Physx, the dynamic model of social-distancing inspired by the Space-Time net

January 13, 2021

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Physx, the dynamic model of social-distancing inspired by the Space-Time net


While the Corona positive cases start to rise again all around the world and more strict social distancing measures should be taken, it is necessary to imagine a new dynamic model in which the new rules of coexistence can be reconciled with the daily reality.

To meet this need, Italian architect Cosimo Scotucci designed Physx, a project located in front of Rotterdam central station that takes inspiration from the Space-Time net, in which an astronomical body bends the spatial network around it defining an “area of interest” depending on the mass and the gravity that generates.

The installation consists in a tight tend surface, made out of an elastic fiber, raised from the ground of about 50cm: once a person step on the membrane, this one absorbs the pressure, bending in a depression-like valley; the membrane stretches and reveals the inner fibers that are in different colors.

Thus, automatically a colored “safe zone” of 1,5m with different intensity is generated around the person, defining the distance that should be kept while interacting with the other people.

When people get close to each other, the personal areas start to blend together showing that the measures are not respected; finally, thanks to the different colors of the fibers it is also easy to understand what’s the grade of danger people face standing next to each other.

In the age of pandemic, Physx is therefore an innovative solution, in which creativity and knowledge of space become the basis for developing a new model of social coexistence for the community, waiting for the “storm” to pass.