Covid-19 virtual design sprint outcomes

How will our experiences during the Covid-19 lockdown affect how we design the built environment in the future?

That was the big question posed in a virtual design sprint held by Buro Happold’s C:Lab community.

The experimental sprint was held to reflect on our personal experiences in response to the current phase of the pandemic and think about what recent learning we might want to keep and apply to our design and consulting.  

It was as much an exercise in capturing the zeitgeist as one of taking stock of how rapidly we adapted to changing circumstances and how much of it would and should realistically stick as we come out of this current phase.  

We split into five groups in trying to reimagine our livingworkingpublicplaying and street spaces, answering the following questions:  

  • what will we want to keep? 
  • what must we keep? 
  • what will we want more of? 
  • what will we want to get away from/get back to as quickly as possible? 

Discussing complicated issues with big, diverse and not-met-before groups to produce answers and forge bonds, built faith and threw another spin into the question of travel beyond the confines of distance and carbon emissions as barriers.

There was also an important recognition of the fact that, as the boundaries between living, working and playing spaces blurred, so did our understanding of liveability, workability and playability start to merge with one another. This revealed cross-overs and exposed tensions that can collectively spark imaginative ideas towards the next phases.

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