ON COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH 

The physical and mental impact of the lockdown brings disruptions in our everyday life. Research suggests that the pandemic will affect everyone’s mental wellbeing, particularly vulnerable groups such as children .

Holmes, E A et al (2020) Multidisciplinary research priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic: a call for action for mental health science (PDF). Lancet Psychiatry

WHAT'S THE

CONCEPT

Our idea has started with a question about a game to be played both indoors and outdoors, away from any computer screen, a game that can be played with a partner(s) but at the same time keeping social distance.

 

We came up with table tennis, an Olympic sport, and also found in parks or outdoor public spaces. It helps not only mentally but also physically, and it does not have a steep learning curve. 

The symbolic idea behind the project is that although we need to stay physically distant, we are staying together, forming a team to combat any challenge. We succeed in this, by designing messages onto the rackets, but most importantly by turning the table into an interactive one, and adding a  score keeper that instead of counting a score between players that compete, it keeps a common score of a mutual achievement.

 

COLLABORATING

rather than 

COMPETING

HOW DID IT

ALL START?

It started in January 2021 and it was a successful submission to an open call for makers by Makers eXchange (MAX)

 

Hyper Global x Hyper Local, an open call that invited us to explore what it means to be both connected physically to local contexts and digitally at a global scale when travel and physical exchanges are not possible.

Due to the fact that we don’t have access to all tools or machines during the lockdown, home workstations are applied, with the tools, machines and materials that are possible to get.

 

In our case our restriction was mainly to do with time: it was practically impossible to meet our deadline due to postage delays but also materials being out ofstock during this period. 

So this was only possible with a collaboration.

 

A new distributed system had to therefore be applied: 
First of all, a common repository is essential in this case with files’ versions saved there for both parties to have access to at any time. 


The design of the rackets took place in Athens whereas the electronics design took place in Vienna.