A few years ago we featured the Japanese art of chindōgu, or the invention of amusingly “useless” inventions. The chindōgu canon includes such simultaneously sensible and nonsensical objects as miniature toecap umbrellas (to keep one’s shoes dry in the rain) and chopsticks fitted with miniature fans (to cool down ramen noodles before consumption). Today we present a Japanese invention that may at first glance look chindōgu-like, but would never qualify due to its simplicity and sheer usefulness: an anti-virus face shield that anyone can make in three easy steps. After you’ve downloaded the template, all you need is a printer, paper, scissors, and some kind of clear plastic sheet.
“Healthcare workers around the world are putting their lives on the line to fight COVID-19 but their battle continues to be fought uphill as a shortage of medical supplies threatens to disrupt an already overwhelmed system,” writes Spoon & Tamago’s Johnny Waldman. We’ve all read of the lack of necessities like face masks and ventilators in some of the most afflicted countries, and in such places having access to face shields could make a real difference in the number of lives saved.
“Face shields are typically made with multiple parts and would be difficult to create and assemble at home,” Waldman notes. “But Tokujin Yoshioka’s brilliant idea simplifies the design greatly, allowing it to be held in place with ordinary eyewear.” Best known as an artist and designer, Yoshioka has made his name creating striking sculptures, installations, works of architecture, and many other objects besides.
Yoshioka even designed the torch for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, shaped like a Japanese cherry blossom and made with the same aluminum extrusion technology used to manufacture the country’s equally iconic bullet trains. Clearly the coronavirus-caused postponement of the games hasn’t got Yoshioka too down to continue pursuing his calling. “I am grateful to the brave and dedicated healthcare workers for fighting the contagious disease,” he writes in the note accompanying the video at the top of the post that shows you how to make and wear his face shield. As you can see, it’s made to be worn with glasses, so the non-bespectacled will need to stick with other forms of protection against the virus — or take the opportunity to order some fashionable frames of the kind that all the best designers seem to be wearing these days.
via Spoon and Tamago
Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Facebook, or on Instagram.