As people around the world face the realities of self-isolation due to Coronavirus pandemic, Ukrainian architect Sergey Makhno shares his thoughts on how the houses and life after the world quarantine could change.
Life after the COVID-19 outbreak will never be the same as before. Everything will change, from values to our deep habits; even our homes will change under that influence. With that in mind, here are seven predictions for the changes that might occur.
Housing independence. After forced self-isolation on different floors above the ground, often without a balcony or terrace, one will desperately want to have a house. Let it be small, but with a courtyard and a terrace where you can just have coffee in the morning.
The houses will be built as autonomous as we can afford it: with their own water supply, heating, storage facilities, etc. For example, geothermal wells are already becoming popular, which, in addition to water, can partially provide a home with heating. And also a stove or fireplace, solid fuel boiler, solar panels. Autonomous mini-stations generating alternative power will become a reality. The main goal is to be independent of the outside world and to minimize the risks in the case of a full shutdown.
Bunker by the house. In the near future, those who will have a possibility, will build in the yard not only saunas, but also bunkers, or at least fortified “minus” floors. All in order to survive one of the scenarios of apocalyptic films that now do not seem to be so fantastic. For those, who cannot afford such a whim, perhaps the government will take care — the number of fortified and isolated shelters should be increased.
Disinfection is above wealth. Also, over time, we can say goodbye to one of the main trends of recent years: open spaces with the entrance group, living room and kitchen united. You will want to separate the entrance group in order to leave shoes, clothes, and belongings from the street here, and not carry dirt into the living quarters.
Particularly demanding families can also create a cleaning room that will have antiseptic dispensers, similar to those spraying water in the city during hot days. Or they can use ultraviolet lamps in residential buildings, the light of which can kill some harmful organisms, viruses and bacteria, and is now used in medicine.
The filter is not an excessive consumption. What can happen if any of the viruses get into the water supply? To protect themselves and their families, people will be ready for filters, excavations, quality control and filtration systems, even if they will have to sleep on the floor for a year. Manufacturers of smart home systems will go further. Their programs will not only control the air temperature in the house, but also its quality, and, if necessary, will automatically clean it. The air from outside will be filtered immediately.
The kitchen is not a cabinet. During quarantine, most will be forced to work from home, and there will certainly be those who will not want to return to the office. Therefore, it will definitely be given more attention to the arrangement of the workplace at home. The spatial organization will change when the place to work at home is no longer a desk with a parody on an office chair somewhere in the corner of the living room or under the stairs. Now it will be a completely separate room with large windows, blackout curtains and comfortable furniture. This area will be technically equipped and have noise reduction. In response, the offices will make more efforts to bring us back. Everything that top companies have so far will become a commonplace.
Eat what you raise yourself. It used to be trendy to plant small gardens near homes or on the balconies, but now it will be a boom. To eat what you have raised by yourself is not only pleasant but also gives certain freedom, especially during self-isolation. Quarantine is probably the best time to learn more about indoor gardens, to get acquainted with the assortment of seeds from which you can create a weekly ration, even if you live in a high-rise building. In the future, more responsible questions will be asked for production: are these things and products made of natural materials? Does their production harm the planet?
The local producer is a king. The world was struck by pictures of a new sky over China after months of its forced abandonment of mass production. By logic and common sense, the rejection of mass should not be temporary. Clients’ needs should change: they will be more concerned about the environmental friendliness and the content of things that will come into the house. In addition, governments will have to support local producers to restore the economic performance of their countries.
Of course, once the consequences of the pandemic and the economic crisis have passed, we can quickly forget this painful experience. But we want to believe that nevertheless we will draw conclusions from the current situation.