There's a crossover occurring between all types of design; hospitality, multi-family, workplace, retail and healthcare. The vocabulary of "social distancing" in the workplace and "touchless" fixtures in hospitality and multi-housing are now commonplace. But do you know the most appropriate way to conquer the new "safe" requirements in design?
We have all experienced social distancing with lines drawn on the floor and numbers indicating how far apart to stand in the grocery line or the post office cue. We've seen the plexiglass shields between us and the cashiers. Restaurants are opening at half capacity and streets are being closed to allow outdoor dining options. We're worried about going back to work in an office where employees are barely 36" apart typically. We would rather sit outside and work at our laptops on a picnic blanket than expose ourselves to Covid in the coming months. Working from home is certainly an option and may be the first choice solution.
But whether at home, at the office, or at a food venue, biophilia is an absolute necessity in design now. If for nothing else, for the addition of exterior spaces to relax and extend environments. There will be a need to have "mask-off" time and the best areas to accomplish that is in a green landscape.
I see a need for healthcare experts to join teams in all modes of design delivery. A designer with healthcare experience can take an intense look into what the steps are to secure infection control in hospitality, multi-family, workplace, and retail as well as healthcare. This new position may be called a "hygiene manager" or "health maintenance officer."
Whatever the term, the need is real. If we truly care about our staff and our neighbors, we need to consult with those who know how to design to mitigate the risks.