School of Architecture, Graduate Architecture and Urban Design
Students: Alyssa Clayburn, Aishwariya Devi Sivakumar, Chinmay Shah, Bhaumik Shah, Nikhil Sanghvi
Faculty: Meta Brunzema
Design plays a critical role in shaping our ecosystem. The ecosystem in which we live, work, socialize and commute has a huge impact on our mental and physical wellbeing. The question that we need to tackle now is that when social distancing will finally stop being a requirement, a way of life, and once it is finally considered safe again to ‘go back to the normal’, to go out and about, will we want to?
Today in 2020, The Covid-19, that has no cure or vaccine has pushed us back to the most effective solution we know of–the physical. We might be at a defining moment where we might want to pivot away from the central ideal in city planning focused on high densities, and towards urbanism that will start spinning outward. Whether or not that happens, and in what forms do these changes take shape, will depend upon how we continue to think of cities and public spaces.
Can we still continue our quest to densify cities while also safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the population? The need of the hour is to mitigate the spread of diseases in dense urban centers by applying scalable design strategies that prioritize our mental and physical wellness and re-establish ‘coming together’. The diagrams below work to visualize these strategies by comparing the “business as usual construction” represented by models of the One Manhattan Square tower and our new proposal guided by our research.