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Nowzar Hedayati

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Residential Design After COVID-19

Humans are social creatures by nature. We enjoy living in communities and benefit from each other’s company and skills.

Life in cities, is more fun, there are more opportunities and numerous activities are happening every day. this makes cities more attractive. Therefore, each year more and more of us move into cities and urban areas.

This creates higher demand for land in urban areas. With higher land value, the apartments and homes are getting smaller and smaller, as a result many of our activities move outside of our homes.

There was an article few years ago, about renovation of apartments in New York city, which mentioned that due to the fact that most New Yorkers eat outside, or order in their food, some designers and architects, are removing the kitchen area in the newly renovated apartments and using the space as an additional room.

When backyards and gardens get smaller, people go to parks to get their dose of green space and fresh air. Even activities such as reading a book in your living room, can be more attractive and more fun in a coffee shop or a park bench. Not, just because of more space and a cozier environment in your local coffee shop, but because of our natural desire to be around other people.

Jan Gehl, the famous Danish urban designer calls this type of residential design a "hotel housing". Where people only use their homes and apartments for sleeping.

Since many people around the world have been quarantined in their homes these days, one can wonder if the future of residential design will change. If architects will design homes in a way where people would be spending more time in their homes.

Will there be bigger "office" spaces in every apartment? An "office" space which can accommodate two people as well as space for children who are participating in their classes online? Will we have, bigger balconies and larger rooftop garden, so city dwellers can enjoy some fresh-air and green space without living their quarters? Will there be communal gyms in every apartment block?

COVID-19 has surely altered our lives and even when we return to "normalcy", it has changed our perspective into social interactions and urban activities. But, will it change the notion and perception of residential design forever? That remains to be seen.

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