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Asterisk*: A Physical Distancing DIY-Kit

  • Jul 28

The Asterisk* is an open-source, physical distancing tool-kit that gives local citizens and businesses the power to transform the streets, green spaces, and sidewalks of their own neighborhoods.

The tool-kit measures the 6 feet of necessary distance, recommended by the CDC to reduce the spread of COVID-19, using the 6 points of an asterisk.

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Introduction

This project seeks to reimagine not just one public space, but all public spaces, to understand how we can create meaningful, safe distance in every location for the present and onwards.

The Asterisk* Kit seeks to reimagine not just one public space, but all public spaces, safe distance in every location.

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The Asterisk*

The universal Asterisk symbol can be used in multiple ways: in its primary form with a simple dash, with contextual colors based on cultural moments for holidays, or paired with typography to convey useful messages.

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The asterisk system was developed in the hopes of becoming a recognisable graphic symbol and informational tool.

Andie Wexler
Strategist, Character

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The Origins

Born from the desire to design safe, and accessible outdoor space during the global COVID-19 crisis, the Asterisk* is a kit that enables anyone, anywhere, to build the foundation for an accurately distanced outdoor gathering, with ease.

The Asterisk* is intended to equip communities with the tools needed to facilitate physical distancing in any space or location.

The Asterisk* is intended to equip communities with the tools needed to facilitate physical distancing in any space or location.

Veronica Höglund
Character

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Originally Designed For Detroit

In many dense urban areas, residents find it challenging to create distance as a group outdoors. Our project initially focused on Detroit, Michigan, an area disproportionately affected by COVID-19, particularly within its Black communities. With limited walking access to public parks, the community faces restrictions on practicing safe social distancing when in group settings. We wanted to ensure that our kit was easy-to-use and could be implemented in every neighborhood of Detroit. Upon recognizing the design flexibility, we expanded our vision to see the Asterisk* as a universal kit for worldwide use.

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The Asterisk* is an open-source DIY Kit that is easy-to-use and an accessible option for anyone.

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Step 01

Use the Asterisk* stencil to mark a center on the ground and use it as a guide for alignment.

For better results, print on thick paper to make your stencil more durable.

After printing each stencil, use an Exacto knife to cut your stencils for usage.

After cutting the stencils, place them firmly on a flat surface (concrete, grass, wood, etc.) and apply with non-toxic, removable spray chalk, or paint.

Booklet (PDF)

Stencils (PDF)

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Step 02

Use the dash stencil twelve times to create seperation between each person.

For better results, print on thick paper to make your stencil more durable.

After printing each stencil, use an Exacto knife to cut your stencils for usage.

After cutting the stencils, place them firmly on a flat surface (concrete, grass, wood, etc.) and apply with non-toxic, removable spray chalk, or paint.

Booklet (PDF)

Stencils (PDF)

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Credits

This project was originally created for ‘Where We Stand,’ a design challenge that invited 15 leading creative agencies, designers and design partnerships to respond to a new reality in cities: the need for physical distancing. Thank you to David Michon, AUFI, and the other participants.

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