Covid-19 has affected how individuals interact with each other and with space. We have seen privacy get expanded and our homes transform into places where we not only do what we usually do at home, but also work, exercise, hang out and learn, among other things.
Even though we don’t know the final consequences of this epidemic, we need to feel safer in public places and more comfortable in private spaces. The “new normal” means to rethink our lives, so the design of spaces must adapt to this reality.
Those who create the cities of tomorrow have the challenge of building spaces where people can feel safe again. This means creating ideal conditions of life, work, and, of course, fun. More humane, inclusive, and self-sufficient cities, thought for the whole population.
Among the changes, some predict, for example, the end of the skyscraper, the end of open offices, and the growth of technologies that let us go through life without coming into direct contact with anything that surrounds us. Experts say that the use of voice, iris, and cellphones will be necessary to move in every space without touching objects that may be exposed to viruses.
This need to minimize contact with other people will cause hospitals, areas of recreation, airports, and hotels to be planned all over again. Automatic doors, voice activated elevators, cellphone controlled room locks, hand free light switches, electronic check-ins, and security controls in airports. Even in places such as residential buildings, it’s crucial to consider more open and green spaces in their designs. It’s also possible to see a surge in multifunctional living spaces, where life can go beyond just eating, sleeping, and sharing with the family.
While social distancing that came from Covid-19 seems to be temporary, it’s reasonable to think that architects will start designing with open spaces to allow people to move more freely. We can be in the surge of buildings, restaurants, hotels, and experiences, in general, more aimed towards the petit comité, even if the business model is less accessible or profitable.
What changes do you think the urban design will have after the coronavirus outbreak?