The COVID-19 pandemic affected people all around the world and forced them to wear masks to prevent infections. Source: Unsplash. Creator: Samuel Rodriguez for the United Nations.

Lockdown, restrictions, curfews: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our reality dramatically and its far-reaching consequences will most certainly remain in people’s memories for a long time. Nevertheless, we believe that it is essential to capture this reality and to preserve it: For future generations, so they can better understand how people experienced the current situation. But also for us, everyone living in these extraordinary times, to comprehend our present. Therefore, the COVID-19 collection was created. The collection consists of 27 objects that can be explored as 3D models, each representing a personal and yet, in some ways, collective COVID-19 experience. By doing this, it brings together 27 unique stories – all developed differently around similar experiences. Join the journey, dive into the collection and experience it yourself.

COVID-19: From an Unknown Virus to a Global Pandemic

The first cases of coronavirus can be traced back to a Chinese seafood and poultry market in December 2019. Since then, COVID-19 has turned into a global pandemic that has not only affected but also taken the lives of people. On January 20th 2020, the coronavirus pandemic was declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization. As the virus is very easily transmitted, lockdowns were imposed in several countries beginning in March 2020, during which people were advised to leave their homes only on a limited basis to contain the first wave of the virus. The spread of the disease has had a significant impact on people’s social practices, largely because of the domestic isolation and quarantine measures. Social distancing has become a popular term describing contact reduction and physical distance to prevent the transmission of the virus from person to person. While a vaccine against COVID-19 has been developed, people continue to struggle with the economic, health and social consequences of the pandemic. Participants of this project shared how COVID-19 impacted their lives.

Highlights of the Collection

The collection is divided into 5 different themes: Escapism, (Re)constructing Reality, Documenting the Period, Health and Nostalgia . All themes present a unique way of coping with the COVID pandemic. Each object was assigned to one of the themes. Explore the themes of the collection by clicking on the highlights displayed below.

How Everything Connects

An underlying theme of our COVID-19 Collection are the various coping mechanisms for dealing with the effects of isolation during the pandemic. A coping mechanism is a psychological strategy or adaptation that a person relies on to manage stress. During the current global crisis when ‘social distancing’ has become a norm, over-engagement with particular objects has become a ‘psychological necessity’ thereby helping people to discuss their needs of human interaction and coping with the pandemic. Some of the objects from our collection help people to do proactive steps and deal with the crisis. To stimulate mental and physical capacities, a variety of activities outside the home are highlighted. This is why objects like running shoes are in this collection. Other coping mechanisms engage in activities that foster a sense of mastery or creativity such as photography and painting, which is why a variety of cameras and paintbrushes are included in this collection. Some objects, like the wine opener, can be an example for the use of unhealthy coping mechanisms.