Our homes have been undergoing more transformations in the last few weeks than they probably have in years. No longer a space for just sleeping & eating, our homes have become hubs for work, education, exercise, cooking, cinema, gardening, performing.
What have we learnt about ourselves and how can this impact how we build & inhabit our homes in the future?
We can do a lot without going anywhere. Meetings can happen virtually, teams can work remotely. Sure it takes some adaptations and the correct set up but for many of us just the reduced commuting time has contributed greatly to overall productivity increase. Working from home, even just 1 or 2 days a week in the future can also help to reduce pollution caused by unnecessary journeys.
Drastic reduction in human movement had a miracle-like effect on the nature around us that is nothing short of inspirational. Did you know that thousands of people are being saved as a result of reduced air pollution during the outbreak? If our unintentional isolation can have such a huge impact, what are we capable of if every individual, company and manufacturer implements just one more environmentally-friendly policy for the long term?
There are many ways to exercise without going to the gym. As a somewhat reluctant gym-goer this lockdown has taught me that while exercise is essential it doesn’t have to take place in a gym. Many of us have found new running & cycling routes, patches of grass to exercise outdoors. Thousands have signed up to workouts online. I am particularly interested to see how technology companies like Tonal will cause a real disruption in the physical gym-space post lockdown. With every new development putting in a ‘must-have’ gym in their building could those areas (and budgets) be used more productively?
We are falling in love with cooking all over again. Flour is still one of those items that even 3 weeks post panic buying is very difficult to get hold of as the world dives into the bread baking challenge. Making jams and fermenting pickles is no longer something that our grannies did but is becoming a new social media phenomenon. Could kitchens become the heart of the home once more?
Outdoor space is precious. The lockdown, perfectly timed with the spell of warmer weather has allowed us to venture outside, to our gardens and parks to meditate on unwavering progress of nature. In dense city high-rises the balconies have also become safe harbours to connect with the neighbours, whether through music or group exercise. The collective energy of the whole building #ClapForOurCarers will echo through our buildings for many months to come.
Music is a wonderful connector. Through some of their darkest hours the Italian nation and others found a way to communicate with each other and to all of us around the world. Balconies have turned into stages and neighbours into band-mates.