How the future of contemporary design will transform post-pandemic

Published: 30 June 2020 - 8:34 a.m.
By: Jane O'Neill

Home design will have to change in the future

In this uncertain environment of the coronavirus outbreak, the home has become humans' last refuge, especially for those who are living under quarantine. The comfort of being at and working from home, wasting time instead of money, has led people away from their addiction to material things and into a realm of sharing, caring and making. It has challenged our concepts of wellness, personal space, sustainability, and productivity.

This pandemic has pushed the companies to initiate working virtually. However, work-from-home is not a piece of cake; it may not be as comforting as it may seem. Companies will demand spaces to operate the whole mechanism from home. As a designer, you will have to carve out spaces for clients that are not just a selling point. Instead, the focus will be on a workspace with a live-work environment. To make this happen, what you will need is a flexible environment, a shapeshifting home, and furniture that is multifunctional. Plus, you also have to consider fundamentals, such as privacy and comfort, lighting, proper ventilation, and a small outdoor space.

To keep up with the changing dynamics, you will need a boost in technology. For instance, remote workers will need high-speed broadband. Stable, high-speed internet is a pre-requisite for work-from-home. It is also essential to focus on things that you usually touch and even the use of space. Ergonomics will become important more than ever before. You may not want to splurge on an elegant sofa or furniture pieces that occupy wider spaces if you live in a small home. Moreover, designers will need to focus on household items and furniture, which can perform both form and function.

How urbanisation and density will develop

Do you know by 2050, more than 70 per cent of the world population will live in urban cities?

Urbanisation is taking place faster in Asia compared to other regions; it comes as no surprise as 21 of the 30 largest cities of the world are in this part of the world. While cities are considered as cradles of collective creativity, the coronavirus has forced the world to rethink its idea of urbanization and density. While the trend of urbanization will continue to grow in Asia, the COVID-19 crisis will change the function of cities.

People may look to improve ventilation, a way to interact with sunlight and greenery, and more outdoor areas in their homes. These demands are achievable with good developers and vision, even in a densely populated plac

Open spaces and greenery in Singapore

The world, especially designers, can learn a lot from the remarkable example of Hong Kong. However, they still need to work more on ventilation and building airy homes.

The infrastructure of a city is a reflection of the government's priorities and shows what they care about. It's a physical manifestation of their ideas, concepts, and what they want to provide to the people. For example, in Singapore, the government cares about the spaces and greenery. It is predicted that in the future, there will be a connection between private developers, government, and designers so that every citizen can have access to airy homes that are surrounded by greenery.

How will the pandemic reshape the business of design?

Spring has always been an optimal time for the global design industry with open houses, exhibitions, fairs, and many other activities. However, most of those are now cancelled because coronavirus has turned the marketing-sales cycle upside down. Companies who earlier failed to recognise the importance of digital space are now chasing solutions.

Many companies and design brands are on the path of digitalisation. Fashion has the amazing opportunity to put an end to the insane business practices, such as introducing cashmere in May and delivering swimwear in November.

Disasters are known as powerful ignition tools for radical ways of transforming these business practices. In the post-COVID-19 world we will witness the rebirth of small-scale, homebased production. In the future, product design will gain crucial momentum, and give shape to autonomous design on smaller scales, handcrafted in ateliers, hence keeping a privileged connection with clients and collectors alike. While the pandemic has affected industries, on the whole, supply chains and production cycles are at a screeching halt as most production units are operating in countries that have become the epicenter of the deadly virus. For instance,

China and Italy have a huge industry of furniture, and many countries depend on them for construction trades. Therefore, this crisis is also an opportunity for other companies to step in and step up. Moreover, in the future, we might be seeing local manufacturing at a larger scale. The experts are emphasising the use of digital space for building commerce, nurturing relationships, and or operating behind the scenes.

No matter what your industry is, it's essential to communicate with your team to do work smoothly and to make your clients feel confident. Now is the time to do that! The world will not be the same as before; density will no longer be our destiny. We need to look at the digital infrastructure that can become our salvation. Many countries will fund the revival of production to their own shores. In the future, outsourcing will become more diverse and less excessive, meaning organisations will take better care of workers as well as the environment.

The future: innovation, creativity, and sustainability

We have to talk about how every organisation should consider how they want to emerge from the pandemic. All over the world, professionals are mobilising their resources and expertise to cope with these challenging times.

But they are also thinking wisely and looking at the future. It's important that they plan and reflect on what the world actually needs and what they are offering to the world.

Even at the end of this pandemic, the climate crisis will still pose a threat to the global environment, so it still calls for action and a response. However, the baby steps we are taking to transform our lifestyle into something environmentally friendly is a victory in itself. The design cycle was pretty much as frenetic as the fashion cycle before coronavirus.

Designers were introducing new collections under pressure, withoutconsidering if their collection was relevant to the situation or not. But now many prominent designers are considering what they should bring in the market at this time and that is something we should be optimistic about. Let's hope that communities will start appreciating the real value of creativity. This pandemic has given you the time to reflect upon your lifestyle and how you do things.

Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, rightly said, "When we are no longer able to change the situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." This quote is relevant in this chaotic environment. Whether its finance, design, or other businesses, it's time to find ways to do better than before. If you know better, you do better.

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