Overcoming the Pandemic

Magazine / 3rd Quarter 2020

Overcoming the Pandemic

This pandemic has been called the great reboot of our times, a chance to reflect on what we do and change course. In the world of design, there is much speculation on a post-pandemic world, which often starts with reimagining the city. Notwithstanding how buildings have been designed in the past, our use of them has changed. Will spaces revert to their intended use once the pandemic recedes?

Cities change, we know this. The pandemic has revealed, however, that they are not designed for rapid change. In this issue, we commissioned five views. We asked commentators to tell us what the pandemic has taught them about the nature of change.

Alakesh Dutta looks at transient structures that can be deployed at short notice (Adaptable Spaces). Heather Banerd talks of integrated landscapes (Landscape through the Lens of Pandemic). We’ve long known that nature makes us feel better, but the topic of biophilic design feels all the more pressing now. The directors of SHAU take on density from an Indonesian perspective (Density versus COVID-19: An Indonesian Case Study). Density is discussed as a contributing factor in the spread of the disease.

Ken Webster, an economist, talks of the circular economy (Cities and a Circular Economy After the Virus); and the directors of URBZ, an NGO in Mumbai, who work on slums and with migrant populations (Reclaiming Immaterial Spaces).

For The FuturArc Interview, three experts from China, India and Singapore shared their insights. They compared notes of what is happening in our corner of Asia, what the response has been, and how much of the challenge ahead is a problem of design, how much a question of governance.

Happy reading.

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