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Quarantine Work Pods Keep Your Air in There

by Paul Strauss
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For many of us, working from home is the best option for getting things done while preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other nasty bugs in the workplace. But not all jobs can be performed off-site, and sometimes in-person collaboration is required. Recently, an architect came up with an innovative replacement for the standard office cubicle that could allow for offices to reopen without as much distance between its workers.

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Known as the “Q.workntine” system, these hexagonal pods are not only more space efficient than ordinary cubicles, they each feature their own private air circulation and ventilation system, reducing the likelihood of people contaminating each other. They’d be constructed from non-pourous materials, making them easy to clean and disinfect as well.

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Architect and designer Mohamed Radwan envisions individual pods, each with an airtight acrylic door and skylight to let light in, along with a custom-made angled desk to maximize workspace. Ventilation fans would sit atop each unit, circulating fresh air and filtering out germs. The design also means greater privacy and a quieter work environment than cubicles normally provide.

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The concept won the DNA Paris 2020 Design Award in the Responsible Design category for its innovative approach to a very timely and relevant problem. In addition to the standard hex-shaped pods, Q.workntine spaces could be configured into squared off end units and oblong units for larger spaces – though the idea of having a seating area inside for multiple people sort of defeats the purpose.

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Personally, I’m still a fan of telecommuting whenever it’s humanly possible, but in the cases where a company must have employees on site, I could see this kind of system being beneficial to productivity and health. What do you think? Would you feel claustrophobic sealed in your own little work pod?

[via Yanko Design]



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