Design lecturer creates physical distancing squares in London parks

Nerma Cridge social distancing square

Interior Design Visiting Lecturer Nerma Cridge has taken to Holland and Hyde Parks to promote physical distancing – and is using a mix of materials she finds on the ground, such as leaves, flowers, feathers and discarded newspapers.  

Nerma says people in her community have reacted positively, with many saying the squares have helped them enjoy their parks.  

‘Local children say they really like the squares and have started customising them so they can play together at a safe distance. Adults usually say that the distance is much larger than they expected.  

‘My project is not about bringing more rubbish into the world, but rather using natural and found materials to visualise this specific distance.’  

If the weather doesn't allow her to travel outside, Nerma produces the squares indoors, which she says is much harder in a cramped domestic space. She hopes the lessons she learns while working indoors will provide valuable insights into how to adapt to new ways of working in the future. 

As the UK eases out of lockdown in the coming months, Nerma hopes to continue the project long-term around Regent's Park and the campus, to allow people to enjoy events while practising physical distancing. 

‘While I’m continuing to make at least one square per day, and I’m also working on large-scale proposals that can help groups of people maintain a safe distance at large events.’