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Panasonic designed human blinders to block out open-plan office distraction

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Man wearing piece of fabric around his head Panasonic via Dezeen

Open-plan offices, once the darling of design, are now showing their fault lines. To get a little bit of personal space, we’ve come up with all sorts of solutions, from phone booths to furniture designed to create a sense of privacy.

All of those ideas seem totally, completely normal compared to this new project from Panasonic. The tech company’s Future Life Factory design studio partnered with Japanese fashion designer Kunihiko Morinaga to develop an open-plan solution to end all open-plan solutions. Say hello to Wear Space.

Man in lab coat wearing fabric wrapped around his head Panasonic via Dezeen

Wear Space is, for lack of a better description, like equine blinkers for humans. The strip of flexible material wraps around the back of the head and covers the side of the eyes, blocking up to 60 percent of a wearer’s peripheral vision, Panasonic says. Think of it as a sign for potential bothersome coworkers that broadcasts, “I’m busy.”

The goal is to cut down on distractions simply by making them invisible. “As open offices and digital nomads are on the rise, workers are finding it ever more important to have personal space where they can focus,” the company explains. “Wear Space instantly creates this kind of personal space—it’s as simple as putting on an article of clothing.”

The studio is now raising funds on a crowdfunding site, and it appears that there are a number of people out there who are willing to put down money for the dystopian relief of a distraction-free office. Has our inability to concentrate really come to this?

Via: Dezeen