As we start to slowly venture forward into a post Covid-19 world we can expect some dramatic changes to the way we live and work. The emphasis will be on how quickly this process can happen while keeping ourselves safe from the virus.
Spatial Planning is Essential
In the future, shared spaces and public places will be designed in such a manner as to address our personal safety concerns. This design must enable social distancing, with groups able to separate from each other, but in a seemingly effortless manner.
Displays in retail, for example, will be farther apart so people do not have to crowd close together to see these items. People will become more used to respecting each other’s ‘personal bubble’ and soon this space we put up around us will become the new normal.
Spaces between desks will have to increase as offices de-densify. Existing shared spaces will have to be redesigned to ensure a flow that limits social contact and enable social distancing.
Touch-free Technology for Safety
Flooring designs laid in innovative patterns will assist people to move through lobbies and public spaces of buildings safely, without having ugly arrows and 2 feet apart lines stuck on with tape.
New touch-free technology will move beyond automatic faucets and soap dispensers to include bathroom and plumbing fixtures, smart toilets, automatic doors, climate control, and light control, keeping user interaction to a minimum.
Smart offices and voice control will move beyond the ‘something cool to have’ and become essential as we avoid touching certain surfaces such as light switches, door handles, and elevator buttons.
Smart buildings which incorporate touchless technology will be green in design to incorporate as much fresh air and daylight as possible, making them healthy buildings as well.
Design Advances to Assist Cleanliness
Constant professional cleaning procedures for all workspaces will have to be followed. Germ resistant materials will be used in the manufacture of flooring and surfaces, and ultraviolet lighting can be incorporated in new technology to kill bacteria and viruses.
Metals such as copper have anti-microbial properties and will be incorporated into designs.
Re-inventing the Home Office
Creating a beautiful functional home office will be part of the new interior domestic design as more people either work from home full time or only go into the office a few days a week. These satellite workspaces need to enable privacy and be quiet spaces, but they also need to look good in video conferencing. Lighting and sound quality will be important considerations in these home offices as we need to be perceived positively in virtual meetings.
We need to embrace these changes happening because of Covid19, and plan for a future in design that may be very different from what was projected at the beginning of 2020.
For more help and advice on updating your commercial space to meet the needs of Covid-19 please get in touch with the experienced team at Garmon & Company.