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Article
Publication date: 14 January 2021

Ali A. Alraouf

The term New Normal has become a buzzword to describe the anticipated changes in human life across the globe due to the impact of COVID-19. The paper's purpose is…

Abstract

Purpose

The term New Normal has become a buzzword to describe the anticipated changes in human life across the globe due to the impact of COVID-19. The paper's purpose is challenging the surrender for the notion of the “New Normal” and constructing a framework by which a call for understanding the practice of architecture, urbanism and city planning before the COVID-19 and contest its responsibility towards the city and the community.

Design/methodology/approach

Methodologically, literature review, analysis of emerging positions and interviews are the selected tools for conducting the research. The paper adopts a position perceiving COVID-19 has provided an opportunity for reflections and revisions about the way people dwell on Earth. The paper aims at analyzing the positive impacts of COVID-19 in sociological and urban perspective.

Findings

Consequently, the main finding of the paper, calls for reviving the forgotten normal in the way places, neighborhoods and cities are designed and planned. Lessons learned from the lockdown time and the actions taken will be analyzed with special attention to Gulf States.

Research limitations/implications

In months, New Normal developed as the most used expression since the spread of the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic marked the year 2020 with one of the biggest public health crises of all time, threatening to take away millions of lives. It is already initiating a massive economic crisis, triggering further negative consequences for human life, wellbeing and lifestyle. Numerous researchers illustrate that through history, humans faced the challenges of epidemics and pandemics and were able to use their will, capacities, resources and courage to resist and survive.

Practical implications

Pandemics such as COVID-19 have caused a critical reassessment of urban spaces. This paper examines the city's relationship to concepts such as the individual, society, creativity, production and power to understand the causes and effects of urbanization. Cities, especially the globally significant ones – such as Wuhan, Milan, Madrid, Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles – are disproportionally affected. Thus, the pandemic is evolving into an urban crisis, forcing us to reconsider our deeply held beliefs about good city form and the purpose of planning.

Social implications

The nature of the architectural, urban and planning theory and practice, is responsible for looking ahead, formulating visions and offering alternatives. Consequently, the methodological approach adopted in the paper is structured on three main pillars. First, observing, monitoring, and provide diagnosis (what we learned from isolation). Second, understanding the local, regional and global context as the COVID-19 crisis creates a ripple of change on all levels and requires both global and local understanding. Third, formulating visions and looking ahead

Originality/value

Suffering from epidemics and pandemics is new to our time and our contemporary experience but not new to the history of humankind. Revisiting the concepts of the New Normal vs. the Forgotten Normal and use the outcomes to construct an alternative framework for producing places in the post COVID-19 paradigm crystalize the value and originality of the paper.

Details

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-6862

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 March 2021

Beatriz Maturana, Ashraf M. Salama and Anthony McInneny

The highly contagious coronavirus and the rapid spread of COVID-19 disease have generated a global public health crisis. Crises are being addressed at various local and

Abstract

Purpose

The highly contagious coronavirus and the rapid spread of COVID-19 disease have generated a global public health crisis. Crises are being addressed at various local and global scales through social distancing measures and guidelines, emerging working and living patterns and the utilisation of technology to partially replace physical learning environments. The purpose of this article is to capture the key messages of the contributions published in this special edition of Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, Volume 15, Issue 1, March 2021. Reviewing more than 70 submissions, 15 articles have been identified that are contributed by 35 scholars, educators and practitioners from 12 countries. The article calls for the need to embed trans-disciplinarity in current and future built environment research.

Design/methodology/approach

Driven by the fact that architecture, urban design and planning and built environment studies interact and have direct correlation with public health and virus spread. The approach to develop and present the key messages of the contributions is premised on three areas: (a) the pandemic condition as it relates to the built environment, (b) analytical reflections on the emerging themes and (c) the diversity and complexity embedded in these themes.

Findings

While some contributions speak to the particularities of their contexts, others address regional or global parameters. The enquiry into architectural research, architectural education and architectural design indicates some of the important methods and tools to address the accelerated adoption, adaption and redesign needed to create a new and better normal which embeds flexibility, adaptability and continuous learning. The papers represent brilliant investiture to address the momentous insinuations the COVID-19 condition has on the built environment.

Research limitations/implications

The diversity of implications reveals potential alternative futures for urbanity and society and the associated education and practice of future built environment professions. While the contributions invite us to critically envisage possibilities for future research and collective action, critical fast-track empirical research is needed to address how health is an integral component in the production of architecture and urban environments.

Originality/value

The diversity, complexity, depth and breadth of the contribution convey important insights on people, health and the spatial environments that accommodate both. Trans-disciplinarity, as it relates to research and action and to the production of urban environments, is viewed as a form of learning involving co-operation among different parts of society, professionals and academia in order to meet complex challenges of society such this pandemic condition. This approach has enabled the identification of three future research areas in architecture urbanism that include implications of virus spread on urban environments, how spatial and social distancing measures and protocols are altering our understanding of spatial design.

Details

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-6862

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2020

Ghada H. Fetais and Remah Gharib

This paper aims to explore the possibilities of economic diversification in the State of Qatar through the regeneration of built heritage post the COVID-19 pandemic…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the possibilities of economic diversification in the State of Qatar through the regeneration of built heritage post the COVID-19 pandemic, promoting sustainable tourism and creating a center for cultural heritage in Qatar, thereby enhancing the sense of identity both socially and physically among the nationals and residents. In light of the strategic goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030, which is to diversify Qatar’s economy and minimize its reliance on hydrocarbon industries, if these ambitious goals are to be achieved, there is a necessity to maintain the local cultural identity, demonstrated through architecture and urbanism.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is an exploratory research based on qualitative methods of data gathering and investigation. The local communities who used to live in the scattered old villages were approached with surveys. At the same time, semi-structured interviews were conducted with professionals in the field in Qatar and other individuals from the public, depending on their literacy levels.

Findings

This paper examines how to revive those villages and improve their current economic level. Finally, the study proposes some recommendations for these abandoned villages in an attempt to rejuvenate their built heritage and revitalize their socioeconomic status.

Originality/value

Economic diversification needs to be engendered through the services and products of Qatari society; this is possible by exploiting current resources such as the built heritage or historic sites in areas outside the emerging metropolitan cities. This study reveals the great potential of regenerating the old villages of the Gulf States by establishing nonprofit organizations and increasing the economic benefit of the abandoned historic structures.

Details

Open House International, vol. 45 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 June 2021

Ahmad A. Alhusban, Safa A. Alhusban and Mohammadward A. Alhusban

The purpose of this research is to conduct a comparative analysis of the views of architects and urban designers in the West and the Middle East on whether the COVID-19

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to conduct a comparative analysis of the views of architects and urban designers in the West and the Middle East on whether the COVID-19 pandemic could affect architecture and urban design shortly and what is the future of our home design? A further purpose was to explore and explain how the pandemic will change the future of architecture and urban design by reviewing, analyzing and synthesizing different and related viewpoints to create a grounded theory, hoping to provide some insight for the entire world.

Design/methodology/approach

Different research methods were used to achieve the research purposes including grounded theory, desk reviews, reviewing the limited existing literature and semi-structured interviews.

Findings

This research found that most surveyed architects believed that the COVID-19 pandemic would affect the future of architecture and urban design and help to create new design features. Future concentration will be in living, working, learning, leisure and teaching spaces. All future designs should be independent, self-sufficient in terms of power and water usage and using nonrenewable energy sources. The home design should focus on the interior design, transparency, open to the inside (introverted spaces), quality of life, natural daylighting and ventilation, healthy indoor air quality, use of plants and natural materials, green roof, the relationships between indoor and outdoor spaces and quality of building materials. Additionally, transitional space is an important primary entry point to the home. Moreover, folding furniture may be a solution to enlarge the room when needed and turn it into multifunctional spaces. The home office will no longer be a small desk, chair and lamp located at the small corner anywhere. The future home office should be equipped with all the necessary technology. The open-plan design trend and the concept of flow space will not exist anymore. The pandemic will encourage the use of touchless and smart technologies in design and construction. There is a need to separate heating and ventilation systems in detached houses and multistory buildings to avoid infectious diseases. Social norms have changed over a few weeks of social distancing. Therefore, we can change the system of negative habits, old traditions and society’s bad behaviors.

Practical implications

This research raises many proactive ideas, and the results are relevant to all actors in the construction sector, as it contains findings of understanding how the interaction of people with the built external or internal environment evolved during the pandemic process. In this sense, it will provide socio and economic benefits for the society in terms of seeking an answer to the question of “how should we design” for possible new bad scenarios to evolve the spaces in the “lockdown” situation. This research discusses how to make our homes comfortable and ready for an extraordinary time, suggested a practical design solution based on construction technologies.

Social implications

This research links theory to practice, and it facilitates the adaptation to the current situation. It has a high impact on society, as it guides designers to rethink spaces that can help occupants face the COVID-19 pandemic challenges. Therefore, it should create and implement architectural design guidelines for health and safety. The architects should think about how to create and organize multifunctional, flexible, aesthetical, healthy and clean spaces under the new roles of interaction and social distancing. Architects should incorporate technological and innovations from different fields to organize spaces, promote public health and enhance the quality of life.

Originality/value

Architecture and urban design suddenly become medical, and we can use the built environment as a way to control epidemic spread. Additionally, and by reviewing the literature, there is no published qualitative research that has been explored on how the COVID-19 pandemic will change the future of architecture and urban design, but there are some personal viewpoints and short interviews. This topic is a new growing concern and becoming a top social topic and priority for policymaking in the world. The topic is important in terms of design input for designers to create new living spaces, as it includes the views and observations of architects from the east and west to the pandemic process. We have all been encouraged to reimagine the space in which we live, how the place fits our needs, how we use it and enjoy it during the pandemic. Therefore, this paper appeals to an international readership by linking the COVID-19 situation to architectural design.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 25 December 2020

Ahmed S. Abd Elrahman

The world has recently faced the outbreak of an existential threat. Since December 2019, many aspects of life have changed owing to a devastating pandemic, COVID-19. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The world has recently faced the outbreak of an existential threat. Since December 2019, many aspects of life have changed owing to a devastating pandemic, COVID-19. The second wave started spreading in different parts of the globe. This article focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on Cairo city, regarding three upper-middle-class districts as a case study. Based on a literature review, a theoretical framework is proposed to analyse how residents changed their living, work, and leisure time habits during the outbreak of the pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

A retrospective survey was conducted among the residents of three districts to investigate the new living model of adaptive, spontaneous urban and architecture design tactics that transfer people’s actual life, work, and leisure arrangements into future planning considerations.

Findings

The results reveal relevant observations about the adaptation of the existing environments of home, work, and leisure activities. From these results, different considerations and new norms emerge for housing typologies in post-pandemic Cairo.

Originality/value

The conclusions of this study introduced the new term “the fifth place” as a space-time place that could serve as a motivation for urban designers and architects to design space typologies considering the emerging circumstances.

Details

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-6862

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 June 2021

Asif R. Khan and N. Lakshmi Thilagam

The Covid-19 crisis has inflicted a disruptive impact on the conventional institutional format of architecture studio pedagogy. As a result, there is a critical suddenness…

Abstract

Purpose

The Covid-19 crisis has inflicted a disruptive impact on the conventional institutional format of architecture studio pedagogy. As a result, there is a critical suddenness for an alternative approach to ensure continuity. The research pursues is to pursue a multidisciplinary study with a focus on the following domains: architecture, the science of learning and e-learning architecture. Inference from the study would become the basis for a theoretical proposition for improvement of the existing pedagogical framework. Moreover, the literature would add valuable insights to the knowledge base.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory research approach is used for this study. The inquiry-based approach enlightens on the role of the architect in society. Also, the nature of architectural design education that existed prior to the Covid-19 outbreak is examined. Further, the paper explores the impact of the paradigm shift from institutional mode to e-learning mode overnight. Purposefully multi-disciplinary studies are pursued to develop a broad understanding of the associated domains. This could effectively contribute to developing an effective pedagogical framework. This would facilitate the conduct of architecture studio discourse in a structured manner during the current scenario.

Findings

The confluence approach – a theoretical proposition for effective structuring of architecture studio pedagogy has evolved as part of the research. Further, the proposed virtual learning pyramid enlightens on the drive to continue on with augmentation of students existing creative acumen. Which is one of the universally sought-after goals of studio pedagogy even during times of uncertainties.

Research limitations/implications

Pedagogues would find the study very meaningful for the conduct of architecture design studio in e-learning mode. They would also acquire a broad understanding of factors to be considered. The research would pave way for future studies in this area from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

Social implications

The current Covid-19 crisis deters architecture studio discourse from being conducted in an accustomed institutional format. Therefore, it becomes important for institutions to ensure continuity of architectural education with the help of new measures. In concurrence, the research envisions an alternative approach: virtual design studio using e-learning mode. This would ensure continuity of architectural education even when the instructor and students are separated in either time or place.

Originality/value

The study presents a unique contribution to the limited literature available on architecture studio pedagogy during the e-learning scenario.

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Book part
Publication date: 18 November 2020

Sabine Coady Schäbitz

New Towns were exemplars of Utopian social and economic visions allied to Modernist ideas of design and architecture. Initially hailed as the answer to the ailments of the…

Abstract

New Towns were exemplars of Utopian social and economic visions allied to Modernist ideas of design and architecture. Initially hailed as the answer to the ailments of the historic European city and the urgent need for housing after the War, they came under considerable scrutiny when the ideas of New Urbanism on design, density and community became one of the most vocal critics on Modernist town planning.

The UK Arts and Humanities Research Council recently funded a New Town Heritage Research Network Project. Drawing on case studies from the network, this chapter will refer to the original questions posed by the above-mentioned network project: How are the Utopian social and economic visions which accompanied the New Town Movement embodied in the masterplanning, urban design and architecture of the New Towns? How can the New Town architectural and urban design heritage be evaluated? How can future planning for these towns accommodate and build on this heritage in a meaningful way, and be integrated into regeneration and growth? How can key stakeholders in New Towns create an identity and pride for their town as well as a sense of belonging, by building cultural capital through their heritage, including architecture, public art and cultural activities?

This chapter will analyse how New Towns and their associated Modernist Heritage have been perceived by different audiences and are positioned in the overall heritage discourse including the question of a shared European Heritage.

Details

Lessons from British and French New Towns: Paradise Lost?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-430-9

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 5 January 2021

Andrew Martel, Kirsten Day, Mary Ann Jackson and Saumya Kaushik

The COVID-19 pandemic has engendered changes in previously unimaginable timeframes, leading to new ways of working, which can quickly become the “ordinary” way of working…

Abstract

Purpose

The COVID-19 pandemic has engendered changes in previously unimaginable timeframes, leading to new ways of working, which can quickly become the “ordinary” way of working. Many traditional workplace and educational practices and environments, however, are disadvantageous to people with disability and consequently are under-represented in the workforce and higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

Contributing factors include exclusionary societal and employer attitudes and inaccessible built environments including lack of attention to paths of travel, amenities, acoustics, lighting and temperature. Social exclusion resulting from lack of access to meaningful work is also problematic. COVID-19 has accelerated the incidence of working and studying from home, but the home environment of many people with disability may not be suitable in terms of space, privacy, technology access and connection to the wider community.

Findings

However, remote and flexible working arrangements may hold opportunities for enhancing work participation of people with disabilities. Instigating systemic conditions that will empower people with disability to take full advantage of ordinary working trajectories is key. As the current global experiment in modified work and study practices has shown, structural, organisational and design norms need to change. The future of work and study is almost certainly more work and study from home. An expanded understanding of people with disabilities lived experience of the built environment encompassing opportunities for work, study and socialisation from home and the neighbourhood would more closely align with the UNCRPD's emphasis on full citizenship.

Originality/value

This paper examines what is currently missing in the development of a distributed work and study place continuum that includes traditional workplaces and campuses, local neighbourhood hubs and homes.

Details

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-6862

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2020

Michael McGann, Mary P. Murphy and Nuala Whelan

This paper addresses the labour market impacts of Covid-19, the necessity of active labour policy reform in response to this pandemic unemployment crisis and what…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper addresses the labour market impacts of Covid-19, the necessity of active labour policy reform in response to this pandemic unemployment crisis and what trajectory this reform is likely to take as countries shift attention from emergency income supports to stimulating employment recovery.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on Ireland’s experience, as an illustrative case. This is motivated by the scale of Covid-related unemployment in Ireland, which is partly a function of strict lockdown measures but also the policy choices made in relation to the architecture of income supports. Also, Ireland was one of the countries most impacted by the Great Recession leading it to introduce sweeping reforms of its active labour policy architecture.

Findings

The analysis shows that the Covid unemployment crisis has far exceeded that of the last financial and banking crisis in Ireland. Moreover, Covid has also exposed the fragility of Ireland's recovery from the Great Recession and the fault-lines of poor public services, which intensify precarity in the context of low-paid employment growth precipitated by workfare policies implemented since 2010. While these policies had some short-term success in reducing the numbers on the Live Register, many cohorts were left behind by the reforms and these employment gains have now been almost entirely eroded.

Originality/value

The lessons from Ireland's experience of post-crisis activation reform speak to the challenges countries now face in adapting their welfare systems to facilitate a post-Covid recovery, and the risks of returning to “workfare” as usual.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 40 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 22 December 2020

I Dewa Gede Agung Diasana Putra

COVID-19 caused dramatic changes in daily life, including the way people stay in a building. Since the virus's outbreak and the mandate of social distancing from WHO, a…

Abstract

Purpose

COVID-19 caused dramatic changes in daily life, including the way people stay in a building. Since the virus's outbreak and the mandate of social distancing from WHO, a house has become an essential place for people to avoid the propagation of the virus. However, recent house configurations cannot satisfy people's needs when staying at home and have not provided complete protection from viruses. Therefore, architects are expected to create new configurations. In order to establish a new trend, this paper aimed to explore the ability of the traditional architectural concepts that discuss the efforts to produce suitable configurations.

Design/methodology/approach

To investigate to what extent the traditional Balinese concepts are still relevant to counter infectious diseases, architectural examinations and spatial stories were used as a method of investigations.

Findings

This paper found that certain traditional knowledge elements are still relevant to produce suitable configurations to deal with possible virus attacks and introduce more security layers to the house.

Research limitations/implications

Learning from the COVID-19 pandemic, this paper provides a view of traditional concepts that are now still applicable to modifications and adaptations.

Practical implications

In these modifications, the traditional hierarchy of entering the house and the function of open spaces for food production are traditional elements that address the protocol to face the virus.

Social implications

Local knowledge has given good things as a precious heritage from the Balinese communities' ancestors to face this new challenge.

Originality/value

This pandemic has taught architects to combine modern technologies with local wisdom as an approach to develop innovative antivirus designs.

Details

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2631-6862

Keywords

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