What Are Some Super Creative Ways to Promote Social Distancing?
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The days of social distancing will likely be with us for a while—so you might as well have fun with it! To help inspire your next event, here are seven of the most creative, steal-worthy ideas we've spotted from around the world.
Paris is hosting “Cinéma sur l’Eau”—or cinema on the water—on July 18. The ultra-romantic floating movie theater on the river Seine is filled with 38 electric boats that can hold as many as six people each. The event celebrates the start of Paris Plagues, a city-run program that creates temporary beaches every summer. The city held a raffle for the boat seats; 150 additional attendees will be able to watch the film from spaced-out deckchairs on dry land.
If room to dance is more your speed, the Virgin Money Unity Arena—slated to open in Newcastle, England, in August—is being billed as the country's first socially distanced music venue. A partnership between This Is Tomorrow Festival, SSD Concerts, and Virgin Money, the arena will have a series of raised viewing platforms, each with space for a small group and situated at least two meters (about 6.5 feet) away from other platforms. Food and drink can be preordered through a mobile app.
The restaurant world is also offering a wealth of creative inspiration for social distancing. Much like the Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, restaurants throughout Vilnius, Lithuania, are using life-size mannequins to keep diners from sitting too close together. The twist: These mannequins are sporting the season's latest fashion designs. The brainchild of restaurant owner Bernie Ter Braak and fashion designer Julija Janus, the project showcases unique fashion pieces from 19 local boutiques and designers. At each table, visitors can find information on how to purchase the items—an economic win-win for a variety of local businesses.
And at the Lady Byrd Cafe in Los Angeles, owner Misty Mansouri transformed the restaurant's parking lot with a series of private glass cabins, each filled with eye-catching flowers, herbs, and plants. Windows allow airflow, and the cabins are cleaned and sanitized after each use. Mansouri told Eater she was inspired by similar ideas from Europe—such as at ETEN restaurant in Amsterdam, which built "quarantine greenhouses" that house two or three diners at a time.
To celebrate the end of the lockdown in Spain last month, musicians at Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house performed for a different kind of "live" audience—2,292 plants. (Don't worry, spectators could still watch the performance via live stream.) The plants were brought in from local nurseries, and after the show each was donated to healthcare workers from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona. The goal was to "offer us a different perspective for our return to activity, a perspective that brings us closer to something as essential as our relationship with nature," said the organizers in a statement.
In Vienna, Austria, architecture studio Precht has put forward a plan for "Parc de la Distance," a maze-like garden divided by high hedges. The idea is to allow people to be outdoors while maintaining social distancing; each path is at least 3 feet wide, running in a spiral pattern towards a center fountain. “The project started with a couple of questions regarding this pandemic. What would a park look like, and how would it function if it takes the rules of social distancing as a design guideline? And what can we learn from a space like this that still has value after the pandemic?” said studio owner Chris Precht in an interview with Elle Decor. “For now, the park is designed to create a safe physical distance between its visitors. After the pandemic, the park is used to escape the noise and bustle of the city."
And of course, who can forget Revolution Event Design & Production's conversation-sparking bumper tables? The rolling cocktail tables, which debuted at Fish Tales in Ocean City, Md., in May, have an air-filled tube around the edges to create a 6-foot gap between guests. See more: 11 Event Decor Ideas and Products Designed to Keep Guests Safe