The post-pandemic world will not be the same as the one that preceded it for designers. The way residential, public, or commercial spaces are considered and designed will be transformed. What are some of the effects of COVID-19 on the future of interior design?
A New Conception of the “Bubble”
The design of spaces could be driven by new concerns related to human health and well-being. The bubble in public, corporate, and commercial places could be less densely populated residents, larger common areas, more intimate spaces…
According to AnneMarie Charlebois, senior interior designer, Workplace Practice Leader, of NEUF architect(e)s, it is the working environment that is most affected by the health crisis, in particular, because the trends of recent years have been to open spaces, densification and thus to bring people together.
At home, too, the need for comfort and safety is increased by the effects of containment. The line between work and personal life is mixed by the need for telework: a permanent way of working. This will require another bubble, the bubble to work at home. In addition, it is conceivable that the home office will become an increasingly important feature of residential development.
A recognized contribution of design to collective and individual health
Containment and slowing down activities can make designers aware of the relative quality of our built environment. For Éric Pelletier, architect, senior partner Lemay’s design, it is desirable that this moment of stop allow us to reflect, among other things, on the quality of the environments we live in.
Indeed, it is not so much a question of transforming our ways of thinking as of refocusing them on fundamental issues. The current crisis is leading designers to rethink their ways of occupying space and interacting with the environment, the two major topics of design. This is an opportunity to highlight the social aspect of discipline and its importance in the lives of everyone.
An approach to design that integrates the phases of existence
Could there be a growing interest in developing environments conducive to active aging in the coming years?
Greater participation of older persons in community life and better living conditions for those who wish to remain active should be reflected in the design and construction of multi-generational sites and smaller residences adapted to the realities and needs of seniors. Planning for large housing and mixed-use projects could in a good way integrate housing for seniors and provide public spaces that better meet the limitations of aging. The materials, the textures, the lighting, the furniture. In fact, this affects all dimensions of public space.
A city on a small scale
The neighborhoods could be socioeconomic leaders with the demand for commercial mixing. Containment (and progressive deconstruction) allows for the return of a reduced lifestyle in a neighborhood or district. A way of life that leaves the car and even public transport behind, in favor of active mobility adapted to the neighborhood. Many will certainly seek to avoid shopping centers and supermarkets for the benefit of local businesses. The shopping streets of the neighborhood will have to change.
Climate Clock Design
In recent years, instant design through design carts, in particular, has been quite popular. These examples suggest that the time allotted to the design will continue to shrink. And yet the issue of greener materials is becoming a crucial issue, one that cannot be quickly established. This will change the practices, the ways of thinking. Given that this will take time, failing to stay the course of more thoughtful thinking, there is a risk of contributing more to the destruction of diverse habitats. Those dedicated to the production of organic materials know that the material on the planet to make them is not infinite. Their production and, above all, their renewable character are inextricably linked to a more sustainable future.