How has this pandemic affected and will affect the world of Interior Design and Architecture? What will change?


Filipa Namora, CEO

Filipa Namora, CEO

After this isolation, people, more than ever, when they go back to buy a property, will have a number of elements in mind that they didn’t think of before; they will probably consider buying a house instead of an apartment
I am inspired by the videos of people singing on balconies (in Italy). Outdoor spaces have become essential for people to breathe fresh air and feel the sun on their faces. In the future I believe everyone will remember this virus when buying an apartment or house, as outdoor space will be a requirement.

Nowadays, technologies such as FaceTime, Zoom or Skype have become one of the interaction bases that have greatly helped professionals to continue working.

Will this, in the future, translate into fewer face-to-face meetings with clients? Maybe so. Some of our clients live two/three hours away from our studios, and this new working dynamic has proven not to compromise project follow-up or eventual discussions about the project. Above all, it is about time. Less time wasted traveling, more time dedicated to work. And time is gold in a reality that lives for yesterday. However, it is important to realize that in the future we should not give up 100% of this courtesy of being with clients. Work is important, but so is cultivating personal relationships!

Many of the colleagues I have talked to try to keep the work going as best they can, even if site visits are cancelled and postponed. As far as the need to have physical samples, what has happened is that the suppliers have ensured that they are received by mail, which allows us the possibility of not stopping.

In fact, this quarantine has been an opportunity for us to spend more time on projects, to question and improve details. For many colleagues I also see it as an opportunity to rethink future business strategies or even to update digital platforms. Social networks are proving to be a great tool for promotion and dissemination of work, because in general people spend more time on their cell phones.

Although not a normal way of working, in our area, offices have shown themselves to be agile and dynamic when it comes to responding to this pandemic.

Now, what might this pandemic translate into in the future?

In my point of view, after this isolation, people, more than ever, when they go back to buy a property, will have in mind a series of elements that they didn’t think of before; they will probably consider buying a house instead of an apartment. It will be pertinent now to be able to enjoy a small terrace or patio, where they can have breakfast outdoors and allow some space for the kids to play.

I also question whether this will be the beginning of saying goodbye to some of the realities we live in, such as kitchens and living rooms being in a single space without division, halls obeying small dimensions, and bedrooms remaining separate from bathrooms.

Should we, post-pandemic, look at the entrance hall in a larger, self-contained way, with a program suitable for leaving shoes and clothes? Should all bedrooms be en-suite so that we can be isolated if necessary? Should the garages have a shower area, as a nurse reported his experience on television a few days ago? The doubts are countless, but surely our way of being and living will change.

We may also witness a greater attention to the workplaces inside a house, because in this pandemic many people have spent much of their time in the most varied places of their homes. With this, it will be urgent to rethink the spatial organization of the home. I believe that in the future these spaces may come to be thought of as rooms, if possible, completely independent from the house, with very ambitious window sizes and with the concern that the furniture should no longer be a pretty chair and table, but rather a more comfortable and adequate image for a workplace.

I also believe that we will be focusing more and more on each building being autonomous and independent, so alternative energies will introduce more and new elements in the architecture of future buildings. The same will happen with the internet that will develop much faster and safer services for civilian use.

Water and air filtration systems, which until now tend to be seen as an unnecessary addition will, after the pandemic, become a concern considering that a virus can enter the water supply. To secure and defend ourselves against this we will have to secure filtering systems among other things that I honestly don’t even know about.

Smart home system manufacturers will take a step forward and their programs will be able not only to control the temperature of the air in the house, but its quality and, if necessary, will be able to self-clean it.

Will gardening win back the younger generation?

Our grandparents used to say that gardening washes the soul and is great therapy, and it has even been proven that physical interaction with plants is good for our mental health. Perhaps the quarantine was a way for us to foster the desire to produce and grow our own food.

I close with hope and faith that the worst is over and curious about the changes that will inevitably be part of our daily lives.  Will we have more responsibility about what we will now eat? About how we will organize ourselves spatially? How we will behave?

Wash your hands and, as long as you are asked, always try to stay around the house.