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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2020 Apr 14, 5:55 am
Access for all

AFTER COVID Story four –  Art has always had an access problem, its hallowed institutions – physical or otherwise – protected by gates to which the privileged few possess the keys. However, deny the gatekeepers (as the COVID-19 lockdown does) their keys, and something quite extraordinary happens: the gates fly open, the world rushes in, […]

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2020 Apr 9, 7:55 am
What prospers after we restart?

AFTER COVID Story three –  The situation that we find ourselves in at the moment needs no introduction — ‘we are all in this together’ — is a commonly used phrase to describe the collective experience the globe is currently undergoing. The speed in which it has taken effect is both fascinating and scary. A […]

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2020 Apr 6, 8:18 am
A tiny big lesson

AFTER COVID Story two –  Follow the news and you may be forgiven that the abiding image we have of panic-struck supermarkets serves as leitmotif for a world that has lost its way. On the contrary, the salutary effect of COVID-19 has been a supercharging of everything fundamental to the making of the good community. […]

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2020 Apr 3, 9:02 am
Alone together

AFTER COVID Story one –  The most obvious irony of the effect of COVID 19 is the fact that our enforced isolation – what Lord Hennessy calls the atomisation of society – has resulted in the most creative examples of togetherness. For me, chief among these has to be the vocal leader, the inauguration of […]

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