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Circling Hotspot

Anastasia Chatzikonstantinou & Ebru Bengisu-Chatzikonstantinou

Our lives are different nowadays. Different, yet all the same. Because of the pandemic, all lives on this planet are now converging with those on the other side of the globe, regardless of their age or status.

On one hand, it is interesting to think that you have at least one common topic that you can talk about with almost anyone on this Earth. Our lives and experiences start to resemble one another so much that it is no longer difficult to find a shared topic for small talk.
−How did you spend your quarantine?
−Same old, same old. Day after day, running the same errands.

Even though this experience brought us to a common ground and maybe encouraged us to elicit empathy in each other, we can not show up for one another, or physically be with a loved one due to the circumstances: a virus that wears a crown of deadly spikes on its surface, forces us to be apart; to keep a distance of at least one meter -or three feet. We are turning around each other in circles that are similar to each other, and we have to be careful not to intersect the circles of others.

However, nothing is perfect, and even though we wanted things to be predictable and measurable, some circles might follow the rules, while the others fail to do so, and overlap or intersect with each other.

For our conceptual design, we had inspiration from this element of our daily lives in the times of the pandemic. An abstraction indicates a departure from reality; the reduction of it to the bare minimum. In the same manner, our social lives during the pandemic have been reduced to the bare minimum of interaction. Our current routines feel like an abstract image of our past circumstances, a pale imitation of a past real world where only the “essentials'' are spared.

In our minds, we often separate people into two groups: those that follow the measures to combat the coronavirus, and those who do not. Yet, the situation is far more complicated and chaotic than that. Our design is an attempt to represent that: the circles are of varying sizes, centers, and may be separate, intersecting, or touching on their points of tangency. Each person’s boundaries differ vastly; and their following of the new rules does so, as well. Yet the very concept of boundaries has been reinforced during these difficult times. Among the newness and complexity of it all, the virus is in the back of everyone’s mind, and that, too, is shown in our design: the big circle with small circles around its diameter is an eerily familiar shape, that of the virus and its crown.

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