by Dilpreet BhullarApr 28, 2020
The world is slowly reopening, and we are finding ways to adapt to the ‘new normal’, post coronavirus. We are seeing a new wave of quirky, aesthetic and innovative design solutions to practise safe social distancing, and one such quick fix is Plex’eat. Conceptualised by Christophe Gernigon Studio, led by France based designer and decorator Christophe Gernigon, Plex’eat allows diners to return to their favourite restaurants and eateries amid safety measures. The design solution imagines transparent, bell-shaped visors suspended over customer’s upper bodies, forming a shield that reduces risk of transmission.
Gernigon’s Plex’eat hangs over each diner as they seat themselves around a table, akin to large, suspended lampshades. The Plex’eat is affixed and hung from the ceiling as a lighting fixture, with a wide base for comfortable dining, and a slightly tapering top, like a truncated cone. Designed for maximum space saving, the cone curves and opens elegantly at the back, allowing smooth movement for a customer without having to swerve to sit under it. It is roughly 80 cm in diameter and 70 cm high, and Christophe Gernigon Studio reveals that they are also working on developing larger models for couples and families to sit and dine together. They are also working on a system that is easier to unhook.
Gernigon shares that the name of the product is an alloy of ‘plexiglass’ and ‘eat’, and the translucent, lightweight material was chosen because of its recyclable nature and impressive thermal resistance. It is also very easy to clean while assembled, or otherwise. “The idea is to protect but also to allow people to live a unique and playful experience, feeling well and comfortable,” says Gernigon.
Christophe Gernigon Studio also shares that Plex’eat’s first prototype has been created and approved, and large scale production is underway. “We are receiving requests from all over the world, from New Zealand to Japan, from the United States to Europe, from restaurants to hotels. Today the SITOUR company, part of the ISD Group in France, is accompanying Christophe Gernigon in his incredible adventure to produce and commercialise Plex’eat worldwide,” shares the studio.
Plex’eat has a simple set up and disassembly, is easy to clean and disinfect and is also adaptable to different settings, such as bars and cafés. It also presents a prettier alternative to the straight plexiglass dividers currently being proposed for airplanes and eateries. “Design’s role is to give a new spark to our everyday lives. When I saw proposals to place plexiglass dividers between restaurant tables, it gave me the impression of being in a prison visiting room. I told myself that I had to imagine a more beautiful, attractive, poetic, elegant object that offers a unique experience. Even if we don’t want to remain indefinitely under a bell jar, the Plex’eat protective bubbles will let restaurants open rapidly in total security,” explains Gernigon.