The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused an estimated 900 million people around the world to remain at home. Among them are architects and designers who have been asked to work remotely to prevent the virus from spreading through the workplace. For many architects, this is undoubtedly a new territory. However, for ArchDaily, it is not, and we can assure you that it is possible not only to work from home, but to use this time to greatly enhance your skills, knowledge, and development as an architect.
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.
In 2018, the UN released an article stating that 55% of the world’s population already lived in urban areas, predicting that by 2050 this percentage would reach 68%. This trend toward greater urbanization carries with it several implications regarding environmental degradation and social inequality. According to National Geographic, urban growth increases air pollution, endangers animal populations, promotes the loss of urban tree cover, and heightens the likelihood of environmental catastrophes such as flash flooding. These health hazards and catastrophic phenomena may be more likely to impact poorer populations, as larger cities tend to demonstrate higher rates of economic inequality and uncontrolled growth tends to produce unequal distributions of space, services, and opportunities.
To mitigate these negative effects of urbanization, designers are increasingly prioritizing sustainability and the maximization of available space – allowing more people to occupy less space with a smaller footprint.
With most of our lives spent indoors, the space we occupy has a major role in our psychological behavior. Environmental psychology or Space psychology is, in fact, the interaction between people and the spaces they inhabit. Lighting, colors, configuration, scale, proportions, acoustics, and materials address the senses of the individual and generate a spectrum of feelings and practices.
From inducing warmth and safety, defining well-being, or creating a positive and efficient working environment, space can have a whole lot of impact on how we act or on what we feel; therefore, design and creative measures should be considered according to the social and psychological needs of the occupants.
Is wood the future of construction?
The history etched into Spain's wooden houses has many lessons to teach us about the role of wood in creating everything from light-weight and mobile modular homes to interior and exterior finishes. What's more, these lessons are not limited to new constructions. They apply to everything from furniture to remodels.