2020 Jul 23, 5:45 am
Don’t exit through the gift shop

AFTER COVID Story thirteen – An already super-ailing high street killed off by lockdown, the future of retail lies not in the standardised hierarchy of strict planning regulations, masterplans that begin with buildings, and the same monolithic anchor-faces of yesteryear. Rather, it lies in the activist or ‘blurred brand’ approaches of the Patagonias, Market Halls […]

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2020 Jul 23, 4:56 am
Rethink: How to sell the high street after lockdown

For a sector already in crisis, Covid-19 looked like the final straw for physical retail. But four specialists see a chance for growth and change for the better. Adam Scott weighs in.   Adam Scott is founder and creative director of experience masterplanners FreeState ‘A much greater blur in terms of operations,’ Adam Scott Covid-19 shines […]

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2020 Jul 17, 5:31 am
A beta-plan for certain uncertainty

AFTER COVID Story twelve – In the certifiable world of the software release cycle, ‘pre-alpha’ refers to everything before the formal testing of a design, ‘alpha’ to the lab-test stage, ‘beta’ to field testing for bugs, ‘release candidate’ to the stabilised or tried-and-tested product, and ‘stable release’ to the ready-for-production product. At least that’s the […]

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2020 Jul 9, 7:15 am
Go wild

AFTER COVID Story eleven – The space given to nature by the current global crisis has inadvertently paved the way towards easing that other – eventually, much more pressing – global crisis: with minimal human intervention on a global scale, we are seeing biodiversity returning to our cities, allowing us to glimpse at a future […]

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2020 Jun 3, 7:26 am
Operation re-emerge: A home from home

Advocates of the flexible, home-based work week could never have imagined that their cause would receive its most significant boost from a virus called COVID-19. All the same, those of us who can work from home are doing so, and so successfully as to question why we ever got up before the sun. However, as […]

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2020 Jun 3, 4:24 am
Posters for a dependant world

AFTER COVID Story ten – ‘Individualism,’ writes a pre-COVID School of Life, ‘has made us sick; our consolation lies in a culture that properly respects the notion of dependence’, arguing that we would do so much better to focus on how we benefit through the efforts of others. As example, it shines an admiring light […]

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2020 May 19, 8:52 am
No old man is an island

AFTER COVID Story nine – As example of the most enduring of human spirits, few stories top that of the world’s oldest man, Bob Weighton, who turned 112 in March, and who claims the twin arts of living tranquilly and ‘avoiding dying’ as answer to his extreme longevity. One of the few humans who can […]

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2020 May 12, 7:40 am
A letter from my grandma

AFTER COVID Story eight – According to the theory of incidental touch, we associate the qualities of an object with those of its owner. This is especially true of the handwritten or drawn letter, the very touch of which is as emotional as it is physical, its depth and type of tactility unmatched by anything […]

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2020 May 7, 11:24 am
Better homes please

AFTER COVID Story seven –  Finding itself thrust into the most extraordinary of social experiments, the Museum of Home has set up a Stay Home collecting project. It argues that the ‘home has never been more important’. It is vital, therefore, that we bear witness to the way we have – as individuals and groups […]

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2020 Apr 28, 7:40 am
Let the street in

AFTER COVID Story six –  Despite Jane Jacob’s mid-twentieth century urban planning dictum that there ‘should be eyes on the street’, the last 60-odd years has seen us surrender the street to the car, swap in the name of privacy and safety the pavement for the back garden, and largely reserve the personality we stamp […]

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2020 Apr 27, 9:08 am
Experience masterplanning the future city

Enamoured with technology and innovation, we are in danger of creating cities that nobody will live in By Adam Scott   My most terrifying read of last year was a short article by the author of Ghost Cities, Wade Shepherd, in which he charted the rise of the built-from-scratch city. Driven by unprecedented migration, over half of […]

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2020 Apr 22, 2:51 am
A machine for a new kind of living

AFTER COVID Story five –  Le Corbusier’s observation that a house is a machine for living in was first properly realised in his Villa Savoy. Shorn of structural convention and historical precedent, it is designed for flexible living, one based on a philosophy capable of ‘an infinite number of combinations of plans’. He would go […]

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