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Designathon 2020

September 21st - October 9th, 2020 | OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY - ICESI UNIVERSITY

Engaging Isolation

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we interact with the world and our surrounding community. The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center ( has recorded the numbers since the beginning of the pandemic in November 2019. By May 2020, over 5.5 million individuals were diagnosed, and nearly 400 thousand have died due to derived complications. Social distancing has been established worldwide as the best strategy to fight COVID contagion. Countries such as France, Italy, United Kingdom, Colombia, and the United States have taken lockdown measures to flatten the curve. Nonetheless, some experts think that COVID is going to become a recurrent issue similar to the flu, besides, a second wave of contagion is expected by the end of 2020.

More importantly, social distancing has changed our human interaction. Among many industries, education institutions have been forced to move their instruction online, restaurants have moved to take out, and grocery stores have limited their access and moved to delivery. Face masks are obligatory in some scenarios, and very often, when people interact with others, they avoid physical contact. It may be arguable that we are losing human interaction, hence affecting our humanity.

This project aims at raising the question: How can we keep social distance without losing our humanity? With the intention of reframing this question, we must think: How can we be protected but able to feel “close” to our peers? What will happen with social interaction once the restrictive lockdowns are removed? How will every day activities change with an ongoing threat such as the COVID contagion? In this project, we are asking you to select one of the below scenarios to propose a solution that can keep individuals protected but enhance human interaction between them.