As cities around the world go on lockdown in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, most individuals have been asked to stay at home, leaving only essential workers - EMTs and other healthcare professionals, grocery workers, bus drivers, deliverymen, and more - continuing to go out to keep the world running. Other families and individuals have found themselves spending most of their time at home, permitted to leave only to buy groceries or exercise for limited periods of time. With many no doubt searching for ways to pass the time in replacement of social interaction, we suggest several ways to brighten up your home while practicing social distancing, both improving the space you’re in and giving possible activities to pass the time.
Over the past few decades, interior spaces have become increasingly open and versatile. From the thick walls and multiple subdivisions of Palladian villas, for example, to today's free-standing and multi-functional plans, architecture attempts to combat obsolescence by providing consistently efficient environments for everyday life, considering both present and future use. And while Palladio's old villas can still accommodate a wide variety of functions and lifestyles, re-adapting their use without changing an inch of their original design, today, flexibility seems to be the recipe for extending the useful life of buildings as far as possible.
How, then, can we design spaces neutral and flexible enough to adapt to the evolving human being, while still accomplishing the needs that each person requires today? An ancient element could help redefine the way we conceive and inhabit space: curtains.
Functionality, good ventilation, comfortable lighting and access to views are some of the important required characteristics that make for human comfort in an inhabited or occupied space. Nonetheless, those elements are becoming harder to achieve withing smaller city dwellings and builds. Architects and individuals therefore turn towards design solutions to create more agreeable and personalized settings.
An initial solutions to upscale and widen spaces, is to reduce the amount of standard solid partitions or walls and replace them with alternative means of spatial separation.