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During the COVID-19 pandemic, the invisible particles that escape our breath as we exist within a space became extremely important to our everyday lives. Across the world, these microscopic viral particles caused severe illness, permanent lung damage, mask mandates, the halt of world economies, restricted access to loved ones, and the death of millions of people. The significance of something seemingly invisible became the most important aspect of our lives. For many of us, the biggest impact of COVID-19 on our individual lives was not becoming ill, but in the ways, we adapted to protect ourselves from these invisible particles.

Visibility Mask is a digital design research initiative created by Span during the end of the COVID-19 pandemic as a reflection of our heightened awareness of the space around us. The AR Instagram filter visibly shows the space we take up with our breath. In a sense, it makes the invisible force that has altered our lives visible.

Visibility Mask AR Filter

Credits

Bud Rodecker
Concept, Design

Avery Branen
Concept, Design

Darcy Nathanson
Design, Augmented Reality (AR)


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Our concepts and visual research reference László Moholy-Nagy’s 1920’s photograms and generative art. Moholy-Nagy’s photograms directly connect to early x-rays and seek to make the invisible, visible. While generative art is a pure example of creating within self-imposed restrictions, relating conceptually to how we have lived and adapted to COVID-19 restrictions.

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These sketches and process images feature 3D objects from Sketchfab.