Cities are the culmination of our spatial, social, and environmental needs as humans. The natural instinct to densify in cities gave us exponential growth in strengthening financial, social, and environmental relationships. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has fundamentally changed the human relationship to density and thereby our views of cities.
These times have seen massive shifts from a lockdown environment that isolated us from the outdoors to workplace/classroom level shifts of working entirely in the remote. The new models of work highlight the new frontier of travel that no longer operates on highways connecting suburbs to cities, but on video calls linking together continents. At the same time, the new constrained living and working spaces reveal how ill-equipped our current indoor spaces and neighborhoods are for different modes of living.
How can we rethink the city fundamentally not by a complete overhaul, but smaller functional models? How can we create a jigsaw of such functional architectural modules that make life go on despite such threats around? How can indoor environments be extended to a neighborhood that does not suffer in isolation due to self-sufficiency? How can densities be reinterpreted in cities where healthy living (physical, mental, and social) becomes a top priority?
In a future where remote working/living is established as a reality, where the commute itself is completely abolished from our daily lives, what will our neighborhoods be like?
Design brief: Develop a zero-commute, mixed-use residential neighborhood concept that is resilient to pandemic impacts and is built for a population that lives, works, and plays in the same place.
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