Design to improve life (in isolation)

Hacks to make your time in isolation more productive and sustainable

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By Pernille Brun Andersen

Cleaned everything in your house for the 50th time? Exhausted all the good shows on Netflix? Tired of scrolling through social media? Now’s the perfect time to spruce up your isolation homestay and, you can do it while tributing to a healthier home environment! Here are a few tips, including a selection of great designs for help and inspiration.

Boost the green

Find some old glasses and start a garden. If you’re low on cash, get some cuttings from family or friends. If you’re lucky enough to have a balcony or a tiny garden, UrbMat could be a design for you, it’s a small-space garden system that makes gardening simple. Don’t have a green thumb? No problem. With Click & Grow, you can easily grow plants in your kitchen, without getting your hands dirty. And, if you have space, put up a home for bees like the Habeetats.

Improve your indoor air quality

In some places, air pollution is even five times higher inside than outside! So now’s the perfect time to look at your air quality at home. Last year IKEA launched GUNRID — an air-purifying curtain. The fabric has a “mineral-based photocatalyst coating” that breaks down common indoor air pollutants when exposed to indoor or outdoor light. An easy way to improve your indoor environment while redecorating your home!

Be creative with your trash

Around the world, we see people reusing and remodelling what we’d normally throw out. Every household is different, so why not look at how you can reuse your trash in the best possible way? Here are some examples for inspiration. The Beyond-repair chair is made from beyond-repairable furniture, the Precious Plastic project breaks plastic down into raw materials to create new objects, and the Inner Valuesproject benches are made from animal parts that are typically discarded — instead of leather they’re made from cow-intestines and pig-bladders.

Rethink your water use and output

The single biggest plastic pollution problem facing our ocean is microfiber. And trillions of these tiny fibres are flowing into the ocean every time we use our washing machines. You can start reducing this amount by using the Guppy Bag or a Microfiber Catcher when you wash your clothes. In the Nordics, every person uses around 25,000 litres a year when showering. Exchange your shower system with a water-saving version, and if you’re interested in the ultimate design, install the Orbital Systems Shower, also known as the world’s first recirculating shower system that uses 90% less than traditional systems.

Learn a new skill

These days, it’s important that we maintain a positive mindset, so we need to make time to play, learn and have fun. Now that many of us are no longer commuting to work, why not use that time to teach your kids something new? Cubetto is made out of tactile and hard-wearing wood and is a screenless friendly way of introducing your youngster to the world of coding. For the bigger kids, Circuit Scribe is an innovative way of teaching how electricity and electronics work. And Papier Machine is an interactive booklet that combines paper, electronic circuitry and electronic music, providing hours of educational entertainment.

We celebrate people, from far and wide, who use design to change the world. We call it #designtoimprovelife

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