Reconnecting to the world

Reconnecting to the world

Rui Lin (Jesse) | Xiaoxi Wang (Josie)

The emergence of COVID-19 in 2020 has led to economic recession and people in many countries have had to isolate in their homes. Children are not able to communicate with friends face-to-face, the unemployment rates are rising and elderly people are forced to be isolated from loved ones due to poor immunity. These are some of the significant changes to ‘normal’ life experienced by communities worldwide.

As communication designers developing creative prototypes in the context of mental health, we have developed an outcome that connects people from a range of social backgrounds with professional assistance through participatory public art installations. Small, stylised figures visually referencing people in contexts of isolation are displayed in public spaces such as cracks in walls. These are seen by passers-by (once permitted to walk outside) and a barcode displayed with the figure takes viewers to an accompanying website. There, users can find information about professional help and, importantly, connect with other members of the community who have created the figures on display. This, in turn may encourage visitors to the website to create their own figure and share their stories and photos of their creation on the website.

Through our project, we hope to attract people’s attention through interesting street public art, provide a platform for communication and cooperation and encourage people to reconnect to their communities.




Interested in taking this project further? Contact Dr Gareth Furber at