C19: An Ongoing Dialogue of Architecture & Design

MariaHOLT News

The design community is full of discussion right now around Covid-19. How will physical spaces function in the future? How can a building’s design help mitigate the spread of viruses? What can we quickly implement to help protect employees and building users? What will re-opening look like with everything that we know and learn? 

Our industry is thinking about solutions to these questions day and night. Scroll below for articles and thoughts that are being published and discussed right now. 

HOLT employees having a “Brady Bunch” moment on a recent Zoom call.


Forbes.com‘s very visual piece a “Sneak Peek at Our New Life Behind Plexiglassshows how plexiglass is used to support separation in a variety of spaces – including a creative approach to the gambling table.

Vox.com’s May 28, 2020 video How Coronavirus spreads outdoors vs. indoors specifically references the Guangzhou restaurant where it was believed that droplet transmission was prompted by air-conditioned ventilation, and a key factor for infection was the direction of the airflow.

Metropolismag.com is currently highlighting innovative women designers [read Upali Nanda Blends Science and Design to Connect Wellness to the Built Environment] and we’d like to highlight ours too – using WELL Building methodology, Evidence-Based Design, Biophilic design and more, Cindy Kaufman, Krysta Aten-Schell, Kelly Maher, Sarah Galbreath and other fabulous female designers at HOLT keep health and wellness paramount in their designs.

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Will Change the Built Environment, Architectural Digest, MARCH 18, 2020– Re-imagining spaces in response to an increased understanding of Corona virus. https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/covid-19-design

The Pandemic May Mean the End of the Open-Floor Office, The New York Times, MAY 4, 2020– As businesses contemplate the return of workers to their desks, many are considering large and small changes to the modern workplace culture and trappings. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/04/health/coronavirus-office-makeover.html?referringSource=articleShare

From ‘officles’ to giant sneeze guards: How COVID-19 will change your open office? Fast Company, APR 30, 2020 – Open offices will need to change for us to go back to work, but how drastically? https://www.fastcompany.com/90498002/from-officles-to-giant-sneeze-guards-how-covid-19-will-change-your-open-office

How Pandemics Spurred Cities to Make More Green Space for People, History.com, APR 27, 2020  – Recurring outbreaks spurred urban design elements such as wide boulevards and parks that transformed New York and other major cities into the iconic metropolises we know today. https://www.history.com/news/cholera-pandemic-new-york-city-london-paris-green-space

The Office As We Knew It Isn’t Coming Back Anytime Soon. Maybe It’s Changed Forever, NPR.org, APR 24, 2020 – The whole return-to-work thing presents so many different challenges,” Lewis says. Some involve retrofitting the workplace. Others involve judgment calls — from deciding about temperature checks and contact tracing to social distancing rules, workplace layouts, tweaking HVAC systems, monitoring school shutdowns and openings, adjusting work shifts and more. https://www.npr.org/2020/04/24/840397136/the-office-as-we-knew-it-isnt-coming-back-anytime-soon-maybe-it-s-changed-foreve

Governor Cuomo, Finger Lakes advisor Bob Duffy outline steps to reopen parts of NYS, 13wham.com, APR 28, 2020 –  Business Precautions: Each business and industry must have a plan to protect employees and consumers, make the physical work space safer and implement processes that lower risk of infection in the business. https://13wham.com/news/local/governor-cuomo-finger-lakes-advisor-bob-duffy-outline-steps-to-reopen-parts-of-nys

After the Surge: Five Health System Imperatives in the Age of COVID-19, The Chartis Group – In mid-March, as cases began to surge in regional hotspots from Seattle to New York, almost every U.S. healthcare system hit the “pause” button on normal operations. Now as providers look to “restart,” few will return to their prior clinical operating or business models. https://www.chartis.com/resources/files/After-the-Surge-Five-Health-System-Imperatives-in-the-Age-of-COVID-19.pdf

ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force: Activities & Recommendations, Setty Engineers – Easy to Implement MEP Recommendations for the Short & Long Term https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5bc526f8af4683da59eb2d52/t/5eb53d9855f94d75be84c974/1588936117947/Setty_ASHRAE+Epidemic+Task+Force+Schools_5-2020.pdf

Considerations for Returning to a Healthy Workplace, Knoll, https://www.knoll.com/design-plan/planning/considerations-for-returning-to-a-healthy-workplace

A Checklist for Preparing the Workplace for Your Employees, Knoll – An organization’s successful return to work will take time and a thoughtful approach that addresses changes in people’s habits and behaviors and well as company spaces and procedures. https://www.knoll.com/document/1356621486530/Knoll_Preparing_the_Workplace_%C6%92.pdf

Help Your Employees Get Back to Work Safely, Knoll – getting back to the office requires an intentional strategy to assure employees feel they are safe and can remain healthy in their environment. https://www.knoll.com/document/1356617123836/topic_2020-ReturningHealthy_%C6%92.pdf

Workstation Enclosure and Space Delineation, Knoll – a variety of product solutions can help create a workplace that helps your employees feel safe and remain healthy at work. https://www.knoll.com/design-plan/planning/considerations-for-returning-to-a-healthy-workplace/workstation-enclosure-and-space-delineation