Self-isolation through space
Aren’t we living our homes and spaces to the fullest?
Since our movements are now extremely limited, our private space has become our most precious asset. New habits have been created, new rules have been established and even new arrangements have slightly emerged.
It appears that the combination of diverse activities carried out in one place is forcing us to use our creativity in order to adapt.
This small piece seeks to reveal the scenes we are experiencing, more than to explain them. Some of these scenes may not last forever. However, as the future is still uncertain, a reading through self-isolation from space will help us look back on and become more critical about how this period of time has affected our ways of living.
Big cities, tiny spaces
Many are not fortunate to live on large — or even on what we could consider as normal — size dwellings. Nowadays it’s common, mostly for the youngest, to live in very small spaces, especially in dense and big cities where every square meter counts.
Have you ever wondered how it is to live in self-isolation in micro-apartments? Sure it was easier when we could profit from the public facilities and outdoor areas as an extension of our living space.
(Co)working at home
Especially now, there are spaces in our homes craving for productivity. It took a bit from us to adapt to the change. However, it was a matter of finding space, managing time, and avoiding distractions.
For those who share a home, with friends, parents, or a partner, common areas are transforming into co-working spaces. New colleagues popped up and virtual meetings are now being held in.
Kids on board
Reconciliation between working, taking care, and educating children requires an exceptional set of organizational skills in terms of time and space. Multitasking has never been more challenging before. Some parents prefer to take a look at the children while working, some others try to keep separate rooms when it is possible.
Outside but still inside
One of the most underestimated places in our homes has been balconies — every outside space to be honest. We have even seen how balconies have become a powerful element by creating a bond between neighbors and keeping them close during social distancing.
We could say giving more space to people hasn’t always been a priority from some designers. I think they — we — might think twice next time.
Improvisation and creativity have been key at this time of self-isolation. For those lacking outdoor areas, the need to feel outside has made many go out the windows, sitting on the edge of them.
Some of these scenes can be perceived from walking in the street. There is something poetic and even romantic about it.
Leisure at home
Movies, games… Most of the people are turning their common areas into real spaces of leisure. They are becoming movie theaters, playgrounds, workshops, etc. Leisure activities are helping to keep people distracted and creating closeness among those living under the same roof.
From runners to gym-goers. People are seeking to take advantage of their private spaces and even furniture to workout. It can be walking around inside or benefit from their outdoor areas: balconies, patios, rooftops…
Technology has helped a notch to encourage many by making available online courses and applications.
Sometimes less is not more
The pandemic amplified inequality and precariousness in cities. There is a big difference between what can be seen as comfortable small spaces and live in precarious spaces. Some people are not only living small and crowded but also in conditions where self-isolation becomes difficult to put up with.
Could this help us rethink the way we would build tomorrow?
I wanted to document these scenes in order to leave a trace of how we are living, how we have adapted, and the multiple ways in which our homes have been transformed. Additionally, it seems important to me to mention that not all of us are equally fortunate.
The moment we live in now is revealing some big problems and deficiencies, from the typical design of housing up to the urban planning of cities.
However now that we can recognize these problems, and the new needs in the face of this unpredictable situation, we can also find solutions and rethink the way in which we will build in the future.