Interactive facial Mask case study (2017)
Haze in recent years has been like a spook hovering above China. During my five years of study and life in Beijing, I witnessed with my own eyes how haze and sandstorm wreak havoc. In hazy days, when I saw people wearing masks, I felt some estrangement from them, and people were like lonely spectres walking in dirty air. The feelings of estrangement created by masks make the atmosphere of Beijing more desolate.
Mask is the sole tool for people to ward off haze outdoors. Being a long-term mask user, I think it has much space to improve the design, for we are not bystanders, but parties involved.
Masks screen not only our mouths and noses, but also our unique facial expressions and voices, making us unwilling to communicate. What will become of interpersonal relationships when we lose our unique expressions and when face-to-face communication gets difficult? The existing masks have never taken into consideration these problems. I hope people in masks can speak freely and display their smile on their way to work and school in hazy days, so that normal communications would not be affected.
I hope this design can truly satisfy the protective needs of the present life and protect ourselves and our loved ones in days of heavy haze.