The world has changed forever in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the lockdown that we faced and the different challenges of social distancing. We will now have to work in a different way than we ever have before and we will all have to learn how to interact in a different way to how we ever have before. This poses an interesting question to designers and architecture studios around the world – how will we design the future world that we live in?
Now that we are beginning to see the fruits of some of the coronavirus vaccine trials we might be able to start thinking about ways in which we can get back to some sort of ‘normal’ again, but with the social distancing measures already imposed and a reluctance by many people to go back to how it was before, there is a chance for the architects and designers of the world to come up with something innovative and brand-new that stands the test of time and allows us as a society to function better if we come up against a second wave of Covid-19 or similar pandemics in future.
The problem usually in the world of architecture is that change can be a relatively slow process, especially on expansive builds that can sometimes take years (or even decades) to come to fruition. When facing something as immediate and dangerous as this pandemic it can be really difficult to get new design and architecture projects off the ground within the time limit that will make a big difference to things. As we have seen already in the past few months, there has been an immediate need for social distancing measures to be introduced in all areas of our life.
We are now expected (and it is necessary) to go into everyday interactions in a different way. We walk around one-way systems in supermarkets, sit 1 or 2 metres apart from other tables in cafés and restaurants, and there are shields and guards and other instruments used to protect staff and the public as much as possible. The design world has gone into overdrive creating these new ways of working and living and the architecture world will have to step up to create new structures and buildings that fit into this new world.
There are some crucial areas and sectors where there is a need for new architecture, such as education where there is a need to safely educate large groups of students in a safe and spaced out manner, housing and community centres where there is a need to keep a community spirit alive and well, and within indoor office and other types of workspaces.
There will have to be some innovative and creative ideas to shape the new world that we are all living in since the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown and social distancing restrictions. Architects and designers the world over will have to drastically shape new structures and public places, transform internal work and leisure spaces and ensure that we are all as safe as possible in a way that keeps the economy functioning but that doesn’t shy away from artistic impressions, cultural importance and creativity. City living will change due to Covid and how it functions is important. This has always been the way that the architecture world has functioned, and it will be incredibly interesting to see what comes next.