How the pandemic changed home design

The pandemic covid 19 has changed and affected every aspect of life. More than a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, there are already a lot of changes in the ways of working and living leaving a lasting impact. This is not only restricted to business and other activities rather to future designing housing and gardening plans in the year to come.

With work from strategy and policy lot more are working from home, some of the neglected areas under the stairs or angled corridor spaces have been changed to accommodate fold-away desks. Back garden sheds have been turned into fully functioning home offices, while front gardens have become cherished play spaces with benches positioned to allow casual conversations with neighbors.

People are making ingenious use of the spaces in their homes. They are grabbing every inch of space for different uses. People are also identifying “moments of visual delight” in their lives by planting flowers, vegetables, or a fruit tree in their garden or putting a row of cacti on a window ledge.

People are bringing the outside in and the inside out by turning windows into double doors or re-thinking the use of a courtyard or garden by moving bins to create a play space or putting a bench in a sunny spot.

New clients are looking for home offices to be included in their house designs. Offices will also change with a smaller number of desks and bigger meeting spaces and informal clusters for people to meet in.

Past history of architecture is on record that the tuberculosis epidemic in the early 20th century also impacted architectural design. This brought in more white buildings with big windows that opened onto terraces so that people could sit out in the sun.

There has already been a shift away from open-plan domestic spaces in the past decade.The one-TV family is firmly in the past as everyone is interacting with their devices in different ways now. People want individual spaces with rooms that can be divided with sliding pocket doors or screens. It’s about flexibility as there is no longer that rigid differentiation between work and leisure.

Consider an older person with a live-in carer. Each bedroom would need to have en suite toilet in that situation both for infection control and privacy. Low-maintenance bathrooms with larger tiles and panels of glass instead of shower doors will become more popular because they are easier to clean and keep germ-free.

Although the transmission of the virus from surfaces was overstated at the beginning of the pandemic, people’s desire for easy-to-clean surfaces in kitchens has been heightened as we all become more hygiene conscious. Some designers are also suggesting that front halls will become clearly defined transitional spaces where everyone removes shoes, hangs jackets, and sanitizes their hands before entering the house. Touchless, sensor-operated appliances might also catch on as people seek to limit the spread of germs between household occupants.

People will continue to embrace the big open-plan kitchen with dining and family areas but with the possibility to close off each space. A greater number of independently accessed spaces is healthier for family life. While front verandahs and open porches are making a comeback in some countries as a sociable, safe space to entertain friends and interact with neighbors.

People are more likely to sit outside and they are socializing much more outdoors, walking and cycling more. So towns are becoming more active while city centers are quieter. Everyone is recognizing the importance of public space.

As more people work from home some of the time, big office spaces in cities might be transformed into mixed residential and office buildings.

Homes became offices and warehouses were converted to loft spaces so some [modern] offices could be converted to homes and converted back again in the future. Communal roof gardens could also become a feature of these converted office buildings.

There have been instances families moving from cities to towns as the need to be close to work is no longer crucial.This will lead to the revitalization of towns and villages where people can have a higher quality of life.

Invigorating towns by re-imagining uses for public squares and streets and people moving back into empty buildings is an exciting proposition. There are lots of opportunities for people to convert closed-down shops into homes cheaply, efficiently, and sustainably.

The concept of the 15-minute city where people can work, shop, and be entertained within 15 minutes walk from their home has also gained more attention during lockdowns across the world. In this model, spaces could be community working hubs by day and youth clubs by night. In some cities, school playgrounds have been opened outside of school hours for use by the community.

Awareness that Covid-19 spreads much more indoors than outdoors has also increased people’s awareness of the need for good ventilation in their homes. Mulvin suggests that humidity meters and carbon dioxide monitors might become popular as people seek to understand the quality of indoor air better. We don’t measure indoor air quality enough and if an air quality monitor prompts someone to open a window, that’s a good thing. During the Covid-19 pandemic we have realized that we can ask more of our homes and localities. The “broken plan” home where not all spaces are directly connected to each other has a future in post-pandemic design.

Covid has killed the open-plan space. People need privacy to retreat to places where they can be aware of each other but not in each other’s way.Gardens have become vital spaces to “recharge, reflect and relax” after finishing a day working from home.

Early on in the pandemic, children were back playing on the streets and inviting everyone back onto the road, which is a culture that need to be nurtured post-pandemic.

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