Functional Social Distancing Art

January 2021

An nterplay of laser lines visualizes social distancing in public spaces

The Dutch artists Jólan van der Wiel and Nick Verstand introduce the Smart Distancing Sytem (SDS). A combination of motion-tracking technology and computer-controlled lasers draw playful lines on the ground, varying according to the presence of passersby. This makes it easier for individuals to move safely and Intelligently through public spaces. Through circles, shapes, arrows or lines, the minimum safe distance between people is distinctly illustrated. A grid of intelligent lines makes it more easy, more fun and safer to visit crowded spaces like train stations, airports, shops, fairs, restaurants and in the future even festivals and clubs.

Nick Verstand and Jólan van der Wiel: Boosting society through creativity:

Through its practical implementation, this art project gives both a societal and economic boost to society. Van der Wiel and Verstand: "We reflected on ways in which we could help facilitate a social distancing society. How can the cultural sector contribute to more freedom and new possibilities? How can people keep at a sufficient safe distance from one another, without feeling isolated? By making intelligent use of technology and developing aesthetic shapes, social distancing can become more fun, more beautiful, and above all, more functional than it has been until now. Dreary tape lines and closing-off certain areas will, hopefully, soon be a thing of the past." The visual implementations of the lasers are infinite. Through circles, for instance, mobile one-and-a-half meter fluctuating shapes can be marked around people. Another implementation would be drawing straight lines between individuals to display at what distance they are from one another.



Corona Lasers, Visual representation of social distancing system. Photo: Joery Verweij
Corona Lasers, Visual representation of social distancing system. Photo: Joery Verweij
Corona Lasers, Visual representation of social distancing system. Photo: Joery Verweij
Corona Lasers, Visual representation of social distancing system. Photo: Joery Verweij
Corona Lasers, Visual representation of social distancing system. Photo: Joery Verweij
Corona Lasers, Visual representation of social distancing system. Photo: Joery Verweij
Corona Lasers, Visual representation of social distancing system. Photo: Joery Verweij