An innovative signage system that uses music to encourage people to social distance most impressed Frame Awards jury members last month. 

The first project of its kind in our line-up of Interiors of the Month winners, Social Harmony poses an interactive, playful way of enforcing safe distancing requirements in public spaces. A broader reaching solution rather than a space in itself, the Nosigner-designed system was first installed at a Yokohama music hall: a musical score is affixed to the floor, with notes positioned at equal distances. Each time a person stands on one, they contribute to an ongoing melody – specifically, Erik Satie’s Gymnopédie nº1

Submitted in the category of Cultural Space, the project achieved a total score of 8.41, earning high merits in innovation and functionality. The studio plans to build out its concept with designs and sounds that match specific locations, such as supermarkets, zoos, in public transportation and the like. ‘By making the most of the power of classical music, culture and art, we aim to sublimate the act of social distancing itself and transform it into a positive way of communication between people,’ say the designers. 

Social Harmony is aimed at helping maintain social distancing in a more fun, proactive way.

‘What a wonderful and innovative idea for a big social issue,’ May juror Tina Norden, partner at Conran and Partners, calls it. ‘Tying it into music is genius. We need more of this type of thinking!’ ‘It allows people to come together in the most challenging of time,’ adds Jump Studios principal Liam Doyle. And WeWantMore creative director Ruud Belmans appreciates how it illustrates the ‘power of smart design on the crossroads of design, art and entertainment.’

'There is tension and magic in the way it appears,' thinks Stefan Weil, CCO of Atelier Markgraph, about Tokyo home House T. 'And it appears alive.'

'A brilliant case to demonstrate how a brand in a commodity market can expressively stand out,' Belmans says of Dresscode Concept Flower Shop.

Our four runners-up include a home in Tokyo, concept flower shop in Beijing, small apartment in Seoul and a cultural space in Groningen, the Netherlands. Developed by Suppose Design Office, House T (8.14; House) merges contemporary design with natural living. Dresscode Concept Flower Shop (8.13; Pop-Up Store), the work of F.O.G. Architecture, offers a retail experience that positions the blooming products as the stars of an exhibition. 

Sonia Tomic, senior associate and head of furniture and materials at Universal Design Studio loves the 'sustainable premise' behind the design of A Better Place. 

Snøhetta director and senior architect Anne-Rachel Schiffman calls the concept behind Forum Groningen 'dynamic' with a 'strong focus on community engagement'.

Returning to the residential sector, our fourth-place distinction goes to Useful Workshop’s A Better Place (8.07; Small Apartment, a 69-sq-m Seoul living environment that champions modularity. And Forum Groningen (7.86; Cultural Space) – a collaboration between NL Architects and DeMunnikDeJongSteinhauser Architectencollectief – promotes the city’s ‘livability and social cohesion’, a destination described as a ‘cultural department store’.