About the Programme
**“Extraordinary times” require extraordinary design. What Can Architecture Do for our Health?**
On 17 November 2019, a COVID-19 case was first reported in Wuhan, Hubei, China. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic, as over 138,000 cases have been confirmed in more than 130 countries and territories and at least 3,300 people have died from the disease. Over the course of a few days, the lives of millions of people have drastically changed.
Public health responses around the world have included travel restrictions, curfews, event cancellations, school closures as well as quarantines of all of Italy and the Chinese province of Hubei. In the name of public security, state authorities have implemented screening methods at airports and train stations and excessive coronavirus public monitoring, such as facial recognition technology that can detect elevated temperatures in a crowd or flag citizens not wearing a face mask, while apps use the personal health data of citizens.
In the meanwhile, millions of people are isolated inside a new type of bunker. In the Hubei Province, a new 25 thousand square meter hospital was constructed in only 10 days. Worldwide effects of the pandemic also include social and economic instability, xenophobia and racism and “voluntary prisoners” encouraged by stay-at-home movements.
**Architecture shapes Disease cities. When the needs of citizens change, so do their cities and their homes.**
There is a strong connection between health and architecture. Since ancient times, health care has been associated with the construction and use of specialized medical buildings and structures. Architecture helps shape the quality of our environments and can contribute to health and wellbeing. Topics concerning health have always been stimulating architectural innovations at different scales: territorial and urban development projects as well as architectural and interior design.
Health has often stimulated speculative design and experimental proposals within the architectural discipline as many works of famous architects, such as Alvar Aalto, Franco Albini, Ignazio Gardella and the theories of Le Corbusier, give attention to the psychological and physical well-being. Furthermore, hospitals adopted architectural features thought to promote health and limit disease spread while architects designed operating rooms and clinical spaces for utilitarian purposes — namely, maintaining a well-lit, aseptic environment. During the cholera outbreak in London, in 1856, Frederick Marrable was assigned to design the Metropolitan Board of Works in order to provide sanitary infrastructure.
In today’s largely urban and interconnected world, infectious disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies pose a real threat to large cities.
Pandemic Realities addresses the spatial configurations, modes of living, and notions of the human body engendered by disruptive public health crises such as Covid-19 outbreak.
As the world faces new globalized health threats, there is a need to design the home/ the city of tomorrow, living in times whereas pandemics and viruses will be part of our everyday life.
By designing for the needs of a pandemic reality, architects act as guarantors and guardians of the Public Health of a community.
Virus outbreaks have their impact on urban space as well as on the living of millions of people.
In managing any public health crisis, the design of a city will have two overall tasks:
- dealing with the sudden large number of sick people
- keeping city life as normal as possible for everyone else
First, in the case of an emergency due to an epidemic or pandemic disease, a city is confronted with large-scale needs in supplies, medical spaces and cemeteries.
Second, designing places of living in the future should not only take into account functional spaces for individual and collective needs, but should also protect health, as humans spend more and more of their time isolated in built spaces.
When millions of people are isolated and working from home, what features should a home have?
When people can’t travel, what is the role of the hotels?
When crowds are not allowed at public spaces, how cities and public spaces change?
In terms of health centres and interior design, what are the hygienic architectural details of the pandemic reality?
Pandemic Architecture Competition attempts to open up a dialogue and create a think tank, looking for ideas from the architectural and design community about the future of the living, the workspace, the public space and the tourism industry.
Urbanists, architects, designers, students, artists, performers and authors are invited to submit their ideas on Pandemic Architecture.
Proposals should be based on a realistic situation or on science fiction and should focus on territorial and urban development projects or architectural and interior design.
ARCHISEARCH.GR investigates, selects and presents projects that deal with various aspects of architecture throughout the world. Taking the role of an unconventional research tool, it seeks present and future cultural evolution through architecture, as well as the possible exchange with design, art, graphics and green/eco design. It poses questions aiming to provoke new thoughts and approaches. It has a vivid interest in experimentation and validation, whilst it underlines the wealth that lies within the coexistence of diverse ideas.