Your enthusiastic response to this invitation to design the post-Covid, environmentally aware, world of 2025 produced an exhilarating range of ideas and a 32 entry-strong longlist
As the UK government promises billions of investment in infrastructure and homes the architecture profession has been designing the things that would make Britain – and other countries – better in the wake of the pandemic. Architects and architecture students were asked to imagine and design for the situation in 2025. How would we be rethinking our buildings and cities in the wake of the coronavirus crisis?
The response was remarkable. The judges were hugely impressed by the scale of ideas, ranging from the personal and intimate in healthcare and specially sewn memorials, to public streets and city regions. Everything from extending and repurposing existing structures to entirely new building types and technologies are represented here. ‘The ingenuity and ideas demonstrated across different issues on the longlist – from health through new building types to streets and neighbourhoods – breeds an optimism about how we reset after the coronavirus pandemic,’ said Rethink 2025 chair of judges, Hugh Pearman of the RIBA Journal. Here the longlisted entries have been split into those dealing with the human body, buildings and communities.
The shortlist has now been announced, with commended and winners from 24-27 July – on ribaj.com. You’ll find more ideas on rethinking our world here.
People-centred ideas include ways to keep our distance without impairing sociability, learning or travelling, alongside ways to sanitise and protect people as we go about everyday activities.
Homes are working harder while office use looks set to decline. Boosting the flexibility of living space, repurposing redundant workplaces and facilitating new ways to operate have inspired a raft of ideas for building design. How to help the vulnerable, be inclusive, reduce carbon emissions, design for better mental health or involve users and the community are just some of the issues addressed here.
Lockdown might have driven a physical wedge between people but community spirit came blossomed. Building on that, and our new-found love of the outdoors, has produced proposals to enrich our urban public spaces, make more of nature's beneficial impact on wellbeing, and strengthen localism.