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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: 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

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 June 2021

Huiying (Cynthia) Hou, Hilde Remøy, Tuuli Jylhä and Herman Vande Putte

Triggered by public concerns over office workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study sheds light on the office workplace environment and aims to investigate…

Abstract

Purpose

Triggered by public concerns over office workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study sheds light on the office workplace environment and aims to investigate how organisations respond to forces from the external environment (impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic) and how they modify their office workplace management strategically and operationally to suit the stakeholders’ needs and future development in the post COVID-19 period.

Design/methodology/approach

A desktop study was conducted to provide the framework for the in-depth interviews with five corporate real estate (CRE) managers and three workplace consultants. Thematic analysis including coding technique was adopted to analyse the qualitative data.

Findings

The findings show that during the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the intended and implemented office workplace modifications are mainly related to two types of risk control: administrative control and personal protection. At a strategic level, organisations react to the external forces by re-modelling their businesses and working towards re-orienting their CRE strategies, such as portfolio transformation, agile portfolio strategies and redesign of the office workplace, etc.

Originality/value

This is a topical and timely study that presents the general practice of office workplace modification during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the related CRE management (CREM) strategies developed for the new normal. The findings obtained through in-depth interviews have well supported the CREM strategic alignment theory. It is foreseen that office workplace management will encounter other challenges due to uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings of this study provide a practical lens to look at the future changes of office workplace environment.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 January 2021

Jay Deshmukh

The pandemic-induced global shift to remote learning calls for rethinking the foundations of design for higher education. This watershed moment in global health and human…

Abstract

Purpose

The pandemic-induced global shift to remote learning calls for rethinking the foundations of design for higher education. This watershed moment in global health and human interaction has accelerated changes in higher education that were long emergent and amplified specific deficiencies and strengths in pedagogical models, causing institutions to reevaluate current structures and operations of learning and campus life as they question their vision and purpose. Since physical space has largely been taken out of the equation of university life, it is evident that fresh design research related to this new normal is required.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative research study speculates on new possibilities for the future of campus, based upon insights and inferences gained from one-on-one interviews with faculty and students in multiple countries about their personal experiences with the sudden shift to the virtual classroom. The longer the mode of physical distancing stretched through Spring 2020, these phone and web-enabled dialogues – first with faculty (teachers) and then with students (learners) – lead to a deeper, more nuanced understanding of how the notion of the campus for higher education was itself morphing in ways expected and unexpected.

Findings

At the heart of this study lies the question – Has COVID-19 killed the campus? This study suggests that it has not. However, campuses are now on a path of uneven evolution, and risk shedding the good with the extraneous without eyes-wide-open rethinking and responsive planning. This two-part qualitative analysis details the experiments and strategies followed by educators and students as the pandemic changed their ways of teaching and learning. It then speculates out-of-the-norm possibilities which campuses could explore as they navigate the uncertainty of future terms and address paradigm shifts questioning what defines a post-secondary education.

Research limitations/implications

This paper draws inferences from discussions limited to the first 100 days of the pandemic. This on-the-ground aspect as the pandemic continues is its strength and its limitation. As Fall 2020 progresses across global campuses, new ideas and perspectives are already reinforcing or upending some of this paper's speculations. This researcher is already engaged in new, currently-ongoing research, following up with interviewees from Spring 2020, as well as bringing in new voices to delve deeper into the possibilities discussed in this paper. This follow-up research is shaping new thinking which is not reflected in this paper.

Originality/value

Design practitioners have long-shaped campuses on the belief that the built “environment is the third teacher” and that architecture fosters learning and shapes collective experience. Educators recognize that a multiplicity of formal and informal interactions occur frequently and naturally across campus, supporting cognitive and social development, collegiality and well-being. Even today's digital-native-students perceive the inherent value of real interpersonal engagement for meaningful experiences. This research study offers new planning and design perspectives as institutional responses to the pandemic continue to evolve, to discover how design can support what lies at the core of the campus experience.

Details

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

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Ivette Arroyo, Norma Montesino, Erik Johansson and Moohammed Wasim Yahia

The aim of this article is to explore the everyday life experiences of elderly (+70 years) living with young locals and refugees in a collaborative housing project before…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this article is to explore the everyday life experiences of elderly (+70 years) living with young locals and refugees in a collaborative housing project before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden. The paper discusses the importance of the spatial dimension in the conceptualization of social integration.

Design/methodology/approach

The main method is a qualitative case study based on observations of settings, document/video analysis, online diary entries made by ten residents and eight semi- structured interviews conducted with the residents.

Findings

SällBo was conceived as a new type of collaborative housing in which elderly, young locals and refugees share common spaces with the aim of enabling social integration. In this context, COVID-19 interrupted the ongoing processes of living together after four months of moving to the house. The three main themes that emerge from the empirical material are (1) changes in the use of common spaces and social interactions, (2) residents' resilient coping responses during the pandemic and (3) insights for future design of collaborative housing based on their experience. The pandemic caused a moment of institutional vacuum, which triggered the agency of the residents whilst developing social bonds and social bridges among them.

Social implications

Social connection created in everyday life at SällBo's common spaces has triggered processes of social integration.

Originality/value

The ongoing processes of social integration have included the spatial dimension. We understand social integration as a process that involves people from different generations and ethnical backgrounds, which takes place in common spaces and everyday life as different modes of socialization.

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: 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: 16 November 2020

Maciej M. Sokołowski

While fighting with the novel coronavirus will not be the main goal of sectoral regulators, different regulatory authorities join the struggle by providing a regulatory…

Abstract

Purpose

While fighting with the novel coronavirus will not be the main goal of sectoral regulators, different regulatory authorities join the struggle by providing a regulatory response. The purpose of this paper is to address this regulatory response in pandemic gathered around eight thematic areas.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper discusses the regulatory response in pandemic gathered around eight thematic areas, namely, the objectives, rules and standards, authorization and permits, procedure, monitoring and surveillance, enforcement, accountability and an institution presenting regulatory actions to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19) in reference to day-watchman type regulation.

Findings

Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic should be a knowledge-based approach (taking as much as possible from best available practices with respect to the novel coronavirus) with a framework of rules, standards, authorization, permits and guidance, monitored and enforced in a way adjusted to conditions of the pandemic, being as safe (as non-physical, as online) as possible, with suspended or extended deadlines, free of unnecessary administrative burdens. In this way, regulation should be pragmatic and flexible, as under the day-watchman model.

Research limitations/implications

In a post-pandemic regime, in the short run, the regulators should try to minimize the social and economic challenges faced by consumers and entrepreneurs. Among them, one may find scaling back, at least temporarily, the rules developed in non-disaster contexts. However, in the end, the post-disaster reforms tended to strengthen regulators’ hands, also under the deregulated government. The day-watchman type regulation balances both, as a middle ground approach, being a bridge between “a total subordination” and “a complete release.”

Practical implications

The disaster management (including public law regulation) provided by public authorities when tackling the effects of hurricanes, earthquakes or tsunamis can be a benchmark for regulatory responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. This concerns the support offered to entities and individuals affected by the negative consequences of reducing or stopping their businesses and staying in isolation.

Social implications

The day-watchman approach, visible in certain examples of public response to COVID-19 may serve as a framework for establishing a regulatory regime that would automatically take effect in case of another pandemic, limiting delays in regulatory actions, reducing non-compliance and accelerating recovery.

Originality/value

This study provides an analysis of different theories on public regulation addressing the notion of regulation using the day-watchman theory, which could be applied in regulatory actions during a pandemic. The paper discusses concrete steps taken by regulatory authorities worldwide, bringing examples from the USA, Canada, the UK, France, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. It juxtaposes the regulatory experiences derived from different catastrophes such as hurricanes, earthquakes or tsunamis with the regulatory response in a pandemic.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2021

Mark N. Wexler and Judy Oberlander

The purpose of this paper is to investigate COVID-19 as a super crisis in the design and management of places.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate COVID-19 as a super crisis in the design and management of places.

Design/methodology/approach

This theory-driven work outlines why and how, by treating COVID-19 as a super crisis, the immunological view rises in priority and swiftly ushers in short- and long-term implications for space design and place management.

Findings

First, this paper looks at the short-term impact of COVID-19 upon space and place management in addressing how porous bubbling, stippling and flexible curtaining respond to immediate retrofitting needs during the pandemic. Using the concept of COVID-19-induced collective trauma, this paper draws attention to health-care facilities, schools, workplaces, commercial buildings and public outdoor spaces. These sites require short-term improvisation in place and space design and will, where the collective trauma of COVID-19 leaves strong traces, require long-term redesign and rethinking.

Social implications

As a super crisis, COVID-19 generates contradictions in the existing trend in space and place studies from the notion of space and place as a container to one focusing on “flow.” A focus on flow highlights a focus on space and place as adaptable to changes in flow, especially as augmented and mediated by technology.

Originality/value

This treatment of COVID-19 as a super crisis is intended to stimulate the design and management of spaces and places in the post-COVID-19 period.

Details

Journal of Place Management and Development, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8335

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 July 2020

Lee D. Parker

This study aims to critically evaluate the COVID-19 and future post-COVID-19 impacts on office design, location and functioning with respect to government and community…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to critically evaluate the COVID-19 and future post-COVID-19 impacts on office design, location and functioning with respect to government and community occupational health and safety expectations. It aims to assess how office efficiency and cost control agendas intersect with corporate social accountability.

Design/methodology/approach

Theoretically informed by governmentality and social accountability through action, it thematically examines research literature and Web-based professional and business reports. It undertakes a timely analysis of historical office trends and emerging practice discourse during the COVID-19 global pandemic's early phase.

Findings

COVID-19 has induced a transition to teleworking, impending office design and configuration reversals and office working protocol re-engineering. Management strategies reflect prioritisation choices between occupational health and safety versus financial returns. Beyond formal accountability reports, office management strategy and rationales will become physically observable and accountable to office staff and other parties.

Research limitations/implications

Future research must determine the balance of office change strategies employed and their evident focus on occupational health and safety or cost control and financial returns. Further investigation can reveal the relationship between formal reporting and observed activities.

Practical implications

Organisations face strategic decisions concerning both their balancing of employee and public health and safety against capital expenditure and operation cost commitments to COVID-19 transmission prevention. They also face strategic accountability decisions as to the visibility and correspondence between their observable actions and their formal social responsibility reporting.

Social implications

Organisations have continued scientific management office cost reduction strategies under the guise of innovative office designs. This historic trend will be tested by a pandemic, which calls for control of its spread, including radical changes to the office at potentially significant cost.

Originality/value

This paper presents one of few office studies in the accounting research literature, recognising it as central to contemporary organisational functioning and revealing the office cost control tradition as a challenge for employee and community health and safety.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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