As the global health crisis continues, architects and designers are putting their expertise, technical capabilities and research skills in the service of the fight against the coronavirus. Metropolis Magazine has gathered together a list of several companies and their different initiatives for helping out in this novel situation. From 3d-printing personal protection equipment for medical staff, to designing modular intensive care units, and researching steps for converting buildings into hospitals, the creative community is bringing its own contribution to the efforts of tackling the pandemic.
Different types of businesses are getting involved in filling the shortage of personal protective equipment. Lighting design company, Rich Brilliant Willing teamed up with 3D printing firm iMakr to produce 10.000 face shields for the New York City healthcare workers. The 3D printing technology has proven its capabilities and practical utility in this time of crisis, as several architecture practices such as BIG, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Handel Architects and many more used their in-house digital fabrication tools to produce face shields.
The rise in the number of cases means hospitals are beginning to operate at maximum occupancy. While some architecture practices, such as HKS, are investigating the potential for easy conversion of different building typologies into hospitals, others are designing brand new, easily deployable emergency care units. Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota, in collaboration with an international team of architects, engineers, doctors, and military experts developed an open-source design for plug-in Intensive-Care Pods, called CURA. The first unit is currently under construction in Milan, Italy. In a similar effort, JUPE, a flat-packed housing startup for crisis and disaster response, has also developed a mobile recovery unit.
Another crucial aspect in this time of crisis is gathering relevant information about the evolution of the pandemic, its impact and possible additional responses. The American Institute of Architects is creating a map of alternative healthcare sites, with the help of architects, designers and facility owners. At the same time, Design Advocates, a group of independent design practices, is collecting data and sharing resources in an effort to support the design community.
To learn more about what architects are contributing to the fight against the pandemic, read the full article titled: 5 Ways Architects and Designers are Responding to COVID-19 on Metropolis Magazine.