LA-based creative studio Production Club has designed a hazmat suit called Micrashell that caters to the decadent needs of party-goers in the age of coronavirus. Marisa Cannon reports

Comprising an air-tight top suit and helmet, Production Club’s Micrashell PPE suit has a number of functions designed to facilitate a party environment, with a built-in sound system, wireless voice communication and a disposable drinks and vape system.

“The Micrashell was born from concern for our community, and concern about reckless social behaviour,” Miguel Risueño, the studio’s head of inventions, told design and architecture website Dezeen.

“After witnessing the events industry fall into an unprecedented recession, and seeing large groups of people ignore social distancing directives in order to go out and party, we felt obligated to address both issues and find a solution that benefited all,” he added.Production Club Micrashell suitMade from high-performance and cut-resistant fabrics, the “top only” suit design lets users wear their normal clothes and interact as they might ordinarily without being exposed to respiratory infection, letting them use the washroom and even “engage in intercourse”, according to the studio.Production Club Micrashell suitA filtration system ventilates air in the suit, passing through N95 class particulate filters and then distributed towards the user’s face. Exhaled air ascends to the top of the helmet before being filtered once more and expelled into the room.Production Club Micrashell suitThe suit has an integrated wireless voice communication system, allowing users to control the audio levels of external sources themselves, as well as modifying how their own voice is presented to others in real time.

An internal sound system plays music in three modes: dry (directly streamed from the DJ or band), wet (as an emulation of the room’s sound based on psychoacoustics), or as a pass-through from the room via the suit’s embedded microphones.Production Club Micrashell suitDrinks and vapes can be loaded into the suit via a snap system that uses magnets and plug-in cells that fit the shape of the disposable canisters. These feature “hassle free” side buttons that trigger a nozzle when wearers want a drink, while embedded lights show how much of your drink is remaining.Production Club Micrashell suitA mixture of screens and LED lights allows users to communicate messages to one another, as well as their mood, needs and desires. A rainbow lighting chase effect across the suit can express joy, for instance, while a static red light might mean you’re occupied, or a green light would express a “resting” state.

Users can also link their phone to the suit’s in-built camera system so it can take photos and videos from another angle, while a “chest eye” system allows them to see in real time things that your suit or helmet might not be able to.Production Club Micrashell suitBased in Spain and Los Angeles, the team worked in 12-hour shifts to develop the suit’s design in an effort to create a solution for people whose work depends on being in close proximity with others. Globetrender wonders if it would also work well for germaphobic flyers…

Will the suit actually come to market and if so, how much will it cost?

Riseuño told Globetrender: “Yes, we are already immersed in the internal prototyping phase, which we do in-house as a way to throw light on issues might have gone unnoticed to us during the design process. Doing this allows us to be more descriptive with manufacturers and fabricators – which is the next step – and give them specific details regarding the challenges they are about to face.

“We foresee a high adoption rate as Micrashell addresses a major human need that requires a prompt solution. We’ve had various industries like film, construction and more reach out as they see the potential for Micrashell to alleviate the impact of COVID on their industries.

“Once the suit is ready, the intention is for it to be commercialised following a B2B model instead of B2C. The idea is for corporations, venues, and entertainment groups to absorb the costs of the Micrashell and provide them to consumers when they gather in groups for events (such as concerts and conferences), which will also help with ensuring proper sterilisation. The price is still TBD.”

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