Mon, Jul 06, 2020

Hospitals have been the battle field of the pandemic. As with any war zone, we realised that their spaces, their morphology, can determine how the fight is led, and its outcome.

What has clearly emerged is that a properly dimensioned and functioning healthcare unit is vital for the timely response to viral attacks, and that we were unprepared. On the other hand, designers have promptly come together to offer innovative solutions to the emergency, and showing alternative ways to develop our systems in the near future.

The video showing the WUHAN HOSPITAL BUILT IN 10 DAYS is breathtaking, but not a viable option for many countries. In many cities CONVERTING EXISTING STRUCTURES  to care units has been the common solution at the beginning of the outbreak: football fields, exhibition halls, sports facilities.

We will probably need to put in place similar plans to be ready to quickly increase care units capacity in any moment. Opposite Office proposes the conversion of the BERLIN AIRPORT, in construction since 2006 and secluded from the city, using a modular system easily adaptable to various situations.

For a quick and focused response, modular units could be the perfect solution, being easily built anywhere it’s needed. The VITAL HOUSE is a design proposal by Studio Prototype, envisioning prefabricated wooden elements paired with a highly technological monitoring system for constant air control.

CURA is an open source project aiming at designing intensive-care units made of SHIPPING CONTAINERS that can be plugged in quickly according to the specific needs of the situation at hand. The flexibility of the containers and the possibility to easily move them make them a powerful solution for quick response.

MOMA Design Curator Paola Antonelli and design critic Alice Rawsthorne created Design Emergency, an Instagram profile focusing on HOW DESIGN IS RESPONDING to the various challenges we are facing during the pandemic, with insights, examples and interviews.

What we are living today is a learning opportunity. We need to be better equipped for future crisis, and get our priorities straight. Let’s use wisely this wake-up call and start building a better system, as explained by global health expert ALANNA SHAIKH.

The Regular Registration period is ongoing for both our competitions, but not for long! HEALING – ALTERNATIVE DESIGNS FOR QUARANTINE CITIES and SOCIAL DISTANCING HOUSING BLOCK, until July the 18th.

Stay safe!

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