The Future of Design Post Covid-19 Pandemic

How the world will change after COVID-19? We are at the beginning of the ending, waiting for a new beginning to start. Planet Earth will stop its agreement with mankind unless we urgently revise our behavior. The pandemic has upended normal life putting an end to most of the daily activities.

With all other ventures, our designers are also facing a major pause and expecting an alteration in the latest trends and surroundings with a huge opportunity to outline a whole new series of changes in those trends. So, what are the changes that we could anticipate from the pandemic? Or will life return to normal like earlier? or humans have to adapt to the new normal? What is “new normal”? what are new design trends? How the world will change after COVID-19?

“Any situation like this, designers are best placed to look at problem-solving”

The forecasts occur one by one, some of them are most optimistic, some are not. But, almost everyone agrees that humankind will find a way to strengthen the situation despite going down the scale. While talking about the changes, novel trends, and habits.

Challenges

By all accounts, this year has been a major challenge to the industry, while optimism is welcome in an industry that, like so many others, has been acutely affected by the crisis and its consequences, other findings from the survey suggest some concerns remain.

Most notably, nearly half of design firms (45%) report losing more than 75% of their business. This number has remained relatively unchanged from our previous few months. 71% of designers are finding it hard and worried about surviving in 2021, 16% have lost their jobs and trades and over one million people, self-employed or freelance workers are “fallen through the gaps” from government support.

The consequences of canceled and postponed contracts, enforced lockdown and sickness are likely to be felt for some time, till then designers are trying innovative ways to be productive for the future.

What is “new normal”?

A new normal is a state to which an economy, society, etc. settles following a crisis when this differs from the situation that prevailed prior to the start of the crisis. The new normal not necessarily last forever however adaption could be challenging with diverse opportunities for learning and improvising everything.

Trump cards in new normal  

There are some trump cards we gained during the prolonged pandemic and they somehow influence the upcoming trends in the new normal.

People had learned to live with bare essentials during the pandemic. Healthy home-cooked meals replaced junk food. Shut down malls highlighted the futility of mindless purchases. As pollution levels went down people realized the meaning of a sustainable lifestyle on the planet. Great steps are underway for adequate capacities of health centers and hospitals, people are taking care of cleanliness by washing hands, wearing a mask, and social distancing.

As people are working together for breaking the chain of coronavirus a better world is emerging and people have realized the need for precautions and are taking steps against future contingencies, to keep the coming generations safe.

Cities and architecture  

Urban planning is primarily about creating a system and intrinsically the health of urban is bounded with the system. Chorea outbreak in London in the 19th century led to the improvement of sanitization, the spread of tuberculosis in New York in the early 20th century led to the improvement of housing regulation and public transit, SARA in Asia has led to the up-gradation in hospitalization and health system. Epidemics have shaped our cities for a long time, we have fewer opportunities to change urban infrastructure and create the foundations of new, healthy cities.

“When everything around you is at a standstill, there is absolutely no scope for new architectural projects,” says architect Abhigyan Neogi, Principal Architect and Founder of Chromed Design Studio. At least a small percentage of architects are spending their free time to future proof their designs and investing their time to prepare after the lockdown is over,

With the COVID there has been a shift of crowded area and a rise in the use of personal mobility such as e-bike and e-scooters, electrification in the auto market also breaks down traditional barriers between architecture and roads, benefiting the air quality. Moreover, sustainable approaches like, banning diesel, turning off the vehicle on a red light, promoting cycling, etc., are major outlines to improve the situation. Talking about sustainability, the breathable building has sparked new events in the industry, breathing facades, and HVAC systems now that we know the introduction of fresh air not only helps maintain healthier environments but also dilutes the human-to-human passage of airborne elements.

In the polycentric model, a self-sufficient district is distributed across cities and function like independent urban villages. Paris, for example, is looking for a “15-minute city” in which residents’ needs can be found in a 15-minute walk or a small bike ride. In the U.S., cities such as Portland, Detroit, Dallas, and Chicago are all exploring versions of the 15-minute, or in some cases 20-minute, city.

Many office buildings have already begun to leverage digital tools such as heat-sensing cameras that can scan body temperatures. But there are many more digital possibilities that can help promote health and safety in our cities. At the urban scale, the digital cameras and sensors are already helping in the rush hours, this could be expanded to help manage the public activities.

Home and living

Everything is changing, values will change, our lives and habit will change, with that our home also change under that influence.

“Work from home” is now the new working strategy for most of the works and feels like it’s going to continue with us for a longer phase, we spend part of our time working at home and part in the office. This will change how office spaces are designed and used and will force them to rethink the space. There will be people who will, on the first day after the quarantine, run for the work to meet colleagues and restart their normal life and there will be some who would feel to stay at home. More attention will be given to the home office therefore companies will make more efforts to win us back. Organizing the house for such kind of deeds and as well as other assemblies the Modular construction, that can promote contactless workmanship and distancing, this is fabricating and assembling building components offsite in contained warehouses, is proving to be a healthier, safer, and quicker alternative to traditional construction.

High rise buildings are made to organize as much as possible people in one place, health and hygiene were not a consideration. In the time of the pandemic, we need to reduce contact with everything used in a multi-story building, people are looking for a retreat after a long vacation provided by 2020. Hence, shifting to more open areas and houses with courtyards and gardens would be more preferred rather than living in an apartment. Urbanization takes a step-back as we start living in suburbs and rural areas. After forced self-isolation on different floors above the ground, it’s more than an escape from the urban chaos. Another predictable change would be Urban farming, which used to be trendy and aesthetical but now it will be a boom, it is what our grandparents used to say, a little gardening is worthy for mental health and making nature calm and beautiful, in addition, to grow food in a multi-story building, it provides oxygen, adapting urban farming will lead a beneficiary change by emphasizing the sustainable life. 

Graphics and animation

This, in particular, is the only and most benefited sector by the pandemic, anyone from a layman to a professional is now imposed to be online for their work and study, many says this could be our future with an online generation.

With the spread of the respiratory illness, the creators and graphic designers have used their platform to urge the peoples to make the necessary changes amid COVID. Even we are not doctors, besides staying at home and self-isolation,     “We artists can help by creating something useful that can make a difference”

Through the telegraphic image, we can convey a sense of being responsible and staying at home. The best advice I read about corona was about changing our mindset and assuming that we all are affected by the virus and so do everything to stop the transmission of the virus. Graphic designers and illustrators have created powerful images and animations to try spreading the message, including visual representations of symptoms and comic representations of self-quarantine.

Home nutrition, clothing, and medicines businesses are about to touch its limit, everyone is at home want to shield themselves and their family from the deadly virus. Most of the fellas starting online channels and businesses are looking out for some content creators.

However, the biggest challenge ahead is finding ways in which design can rebuild trust and communicate clearly how health and wellness well-being is considered in the built environment.

Lessons

The first thing Is how amazing it to see resilience in people, we have gone through some tough time and it looks like it could get worse and longer than expected. Despite that, humans are amazing at handling and react fast, especially when the environment is the right one.

Resilience is something you can foster too. Showing to the people in your team that you genuinely care about them is important, and understanding their needs deepens your relationship with them. In crisis periods, people will need more flexibility and making sure they have what they need. It drives them to be more resilient. we recover quickly from difficulties when we reflect on what we learned during a certain period.

Everyone should know that trust is the most important value. Having full trust in the team and giving team members full ownership of their work always drives to better outcomes. Making them know that they can always count on you is the best thing you can do. You are there for them, and to help them do their best work. You provide the tools, and the people in your team need to own them and use them in the way that suits them best. This is especially important with remote working because it’s easier to fall into the trap of not knowing what someone is doing and micromanaging the process.

Being honest and transparent is more valuable than forcing yourself to give precise answers and directions because people will trust you more, and you will have your team navigating the uncertainty with you, finding answers together. Sometimes we need something that disrupts our routines to re-discover basic values. We all know that listening is important, but how much do we listen in normal circumstances? There’s a lot of noise around us usually while you rush through your day. Ironically, working from home has enabled me to have the headspace to listen and build deeper connections with others. Crisis periods will accelerate your learning curve. Being able to listen is extremely valuable for the job we are doing, and sometimes stretch-testing how well you follow those values makes you understand them deeply

“There are many more pleasant discoveries ahead. The new world will be about things that matter. There will be fewer objects and they will be chosen more responsibly”

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