Pandemics have pushed societies to change and adapt to ‘new normals,’ reshaping the use of existing spaces and in (re-)creating new ones. For example, after the cholera outbreak in the 19th century, London cleaned up the Thames and built sewer networks and outdoor public spaces. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is unlikely to be the last pandemic. What can we learn from the present pandemic about how to make our living and working spaces more resilient to future pandemics?
Our physical living settings have been repurposed over the last year to become more mobile, modular and adaptive to the outbreak especially with regards to management measures (quarantine facilities, vaccination centres). Our homes, have to be re-configured to accommodate work and school activities. The long lockdowns have brought about creative and innovate ways to divide and use spaces without constructing walls and has introduced new designs that allow smooth and easy flow of human traffic with minimum need to touch surfaces (automated doors, taps, etc,.). However, working remotely without physical collaboration and social interaction will not last forever. Digital work still cannot completely replace physical presence. “The human-physical interaction cannot be digitized”. Is there a long-term solution? How do we choose current space, location and logistics to minimise the impact of the new normal?
Our panellists Asst Prof Felicity Chan and Assoc Prof Georgios Christopoulos will discuss the topic, ‘Covid-19: Emerging designs for resilient homes, offices, cities’. The session will be moderated by Prof Vanessa Evers and Assoc Prof Hallam Stevens.