DESIGNING DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC
In the wake of a global pandemic, we pause to reflect on the past two years and our role as designers in the built environment. As developers, builders, and contractors across the US continue to gear up – some stating that they’re busier than they’ve ever been and need to turn away projects – they’re grappling for skilled laborers to help with the increased client requests for a remodel in order to acclimate to their new at-home lifestyle. With raw materials pricing still on the rise and supply chains still painfully slow, stakeholders from every facet of each project have learned to fine-tune their strategies while embracing this paramount, albeit grueling, lesson in patience.
Interior designers and architects were no exception to the built environment’s unforeseen demands and individual needs for a speedy change of use at the behest of the government’s request for everyone to work from home. During quarantine people everywhere were briskly forced to cohabitate all day, every day with those who shared residence. Spare rooms swiftly became home offices. Exterior spaces – large and small - abruptly turned into playgrounds or sanctuaries. Outdoor kitchens sprung up as rapidly as weeds amongst newly manicured lawns to adjust to this new, seemingly never ending, “safer at home” life.
In the midst of quarantine, and partially-completed projects, our inboxes became flooded with clients asking the dreaded questions “when is the completion date?” or “when will my custom sofa arrive?” To which we answered… we don’t know. With so much uncertainty, and no visible end on the horizon, our clients, along with the world, were eventually forced to embrace the unknown.
Fast forward to December 2022 where restaurants, water parks, retail stores, and beyond are wide open and guests mask-free at their will. Plexiglass partitions still strewn about - themselves waiting for trust to finally befall the masses and be removed. Or, reluctantly remain left hanging in place... just in case. The world remains on-guard as COVID variants still taunt us at each seasonal change. However, a majority of people have decided to step out from their cavernous abodes and brave the unknown.
The built environment endured insurmountable growing pains and drastically changed in response to this global shutdown. Commercial buildings have taken extra measures to ensure clean indoor air, sanitized surfaces, and thoughtfully accommodate social distance needs for their visitors. Residential development has been forced to rethink the ways they share space and how quickly they can adapt to any sudden upheaval. It’s as if the world adjusted their lenses and learned to see interior spaces with a new perspective.
There were a lot of learning curves to be had by all with this shared experience. Arguably, the biggest lessons being how to consciously create healthier buildings for people and planet, what measures can be taken to ensure the protection of a building’s inhabitants, and when to implement safety practices during a constructions critical path.
What Malgosia Migdal Design has taken away as a quaint, boutique interior design firm humbly placed in the heart of Southern California is that all design trades can seamlessly come together with novel, creative concepts for our clients and push the envelope even further by specifying innovative, healthy solutions without compromising luxury. We extend our overwhelming gratitude to our clients for their continued support through one of the most challenging times our globe has ever encountered.