The Committee on Design (COD) was founded to promote design excellence among members of the AIA, the broader design community, and the public at large, both nationally and internationally.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the AIA Committee on Design leadership voted to postpone the domestic and international conferences to 2021. The new dates for the conferences are Denver, May 13 to 16, and Singapore, October 9 to 22.
My honest view and many other architects concur that the idea of a new social distancing is the new norm". This is this is simple momentary panic expanded by the hunger to design something socially helpful and new that is not needed. By next year's end, the Covid panic will be well over and as many say, that was sooo 2020, if anything at all. Social distancing design will be meaningless in the realistic $/SF markets from home to commercial etc. Even now drawings going to permit wouldn't dream of it. By the time the permits are issued, construction completed and occupancy in 2-4 years the same SF/person will prevail.
My 2 cents.
Travis Price, FAIA
Travis Price Architects
2805 Chesterfield Place NW
Washington, DC 20008
202 . 965 . 7000
BEST MODERN AMERICA 2020
Thanks for the reply and assessment.
The way you put it, I would agree, there won't be lasting "social distancing architecture". As you can see when you read the entire article, my sense is that some things will be enduring, though, in a subtler way than the 6' rule which rather silly to begin with. Trends and fashions are finicky and can blow in new directions by smaller winds than this COVID-19, which is a veritable storm with significant associated damage and trauma.
Office and retail won't be the same, if not for COVID then for the forces that have been underway for some time.
I agree, panic and heavy breathing is not the appropriate modus operandi for architecture.
Thanks again for the comment. I hope there will be more, also reports from the daily practice.
Along with the virus's health crisis, the long-neglected most problematic unresolved problem of economic inequality and disparity in the cities appeared on our consciousness. While this problem may not be solved by the architects alone, the awareness and advocacy for equity in the public realm and support for adequate living spaces is something we must seriously address.
In the "new normal", while reflecting on work, retail, and economic sectors, we need to consider improving conditions in the cities for quality of life for all in the living conditions, mobility, and environment. Any new developments must become sustainable communities where living, working, and other everyday activities are accessible within 15-minute walking, thus reducing need for vehicular mobility.
You have stressed the quality of air to meet the environmental goals. It is so essential that we favor economies of sensible consumption and pursue UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Damyanti Radheshwar FIIA AIA LEED APD Radheshwar Architect + Urban Planner and Strategistwww.DRadheshwar.com
>> Having read your article carefully and thought about it, I am not sure if my comments are meant to buttress or attack your position.
>> First though a few nits to pick. The NYT "waves of house buying" in Westchester and other suburbs is anecdotal at best. The numbers behind significant percentage increases in buyer inquiries there are minuscule when applied as departures from NYC. Your 10% traffic reduction is actually at best 3% as it is 10% of 33% and ignores commercial traffic. I think your discussion of the future of office space ignores two important factors. One, we are all, even us architects, going to get tired of and recognize the weaknesses of working remotely as soon as the pandemic no longer requires it. Two, we are going to discover that we don't need a lot of those people who are working from home. The Andrew Yang concern is real, and unless climate change renders all of this a side show, finding new uses for office space in a 40% unemployment economy is going to be more important than the residual effects of the pandemic.
>> Finally, this. I think I have come to realize over the last six months how much my professions, architecture and urban design, live, practice and think in a white, entitled world. I live most of the year in Hamilton Heights. My block is likely 60% very low income and similarly inhabited by people of color. Even though my neighborhood took an above average hit from Covid-19, life up here goes on. Street life, trips to the barber, hair salon, bodega, and laundry, grocery shopping, dog walking and even riding the subway have pretty much returned to normal (masked of course). Striving for the American Dream, all across the five boroughs, I think, has determinedly, at least for now, fended off the obstacles presented by the pandemic.
>> Respectfully submitted
Mike Mense FAIA
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