Like no other time in recent history, current events are capturing attention and driving great change in our culture. Among them, the COVID-19 virus brings potential illness to our doorsteps, and many people face significant economic challenges in the coming months. We are in no shortage of important and calamitous health decisions at the present time.
Such change brings with it important questions that can point to the future. With regard to our department and the interior design field broadly, what can design do to protect health?
Perhaps like never before, design is well situated to make a difference for people, and its practitioners can leverage their knowledge to make built environments safer in these uncertain times. As the design field most directly oriented and prepared to manipulate interior space for wellness, interior designers can apply the findings of science to take direct health-supportive action such as widening corridors, specifying products that reduce the transmission of pathogens from often-touched surfaces, and better enabling work through thoughtfully-oriented office furnishings that keep people safe. In secondary ways as well, designers can craft spaces that reduce their stress through noise reduction, providing visual interest, and increasing proximity to biophilic supports such as window views and interior plantscapes. The state of affairs, even in this time of great stress, presents very real learning opportunities for us all.
The Department is kicking off this very dynamic and interesting Fall 2020 semester with the release of a logo that acknowledges these extraordinary times, yet also looks toward the future with the knowledge that design is poised to make a true and apparent difference in people’s lives. Here’s to a brighter future that we will celebrate soon!