NOTEBOOK ON THE CURRENT SCENARIO AND
PERSPECTIVES FOR THE POST-PANDEMIC
In view of the present day, we at LDA, anxious, decided to propose a dialogue directly with anyone interested in redesigning and building new scenarios for the present that impose themselves.
It is in these moments when reality demands a new stance whose human values are put to the test and end up redefining new architectural models and programs to house human actions. In the past, other pandemics and pests were already
responsible for changes in behavior and behavioral spaces to protect them. The Renaissance city is a great example of this and leaves no doubt,how remarkable the changes can be from facing the massive loss of life.
We human beings are able to adapt in order to survive; it was like that in
the past and that is how it is in the present.
Today we live in a globalized economy, we never had as much access to the
world as today. Cultures, formerly distant, have become close and easy to experience. Through travel, texts or even merchandise, our universe
has become broader while our world is smaller.
New technologies have created a more immediate world. We are hungry, we
order food from apps and in less than 30 minutes, this is materialized on the
doorstep of our homes. No matter the cuisine, the restaurant or even the
chef, we can experience everything.
Digital retail was already gaining relevance, but still, many of our prejudices about new technologies still created barriers to use it. We woke up in a world where isolation made us need to use it and now, as if the pandora box were opened, we started to discover a world of new channels for consumption.
What our relations with retail will be like, whether in the supermarket, in the
department store or even in shopping malls, open up a universe of doubts and
possibilities that we are eager to discover and discuss how we can redesign these
journeys and experiences, as well as our spaces. As architects and creatives, we
are placing ourselves open to exploring these new territories, any change in
values recreates or transforms ethics simultaneously requiring aesthetic
changes capable of building a new world on better days.
We divided this material into two stages:
– See the present as it is, and for this we list 10 facts and how they act on retail in general, on food and entertainment.
– Propose to open new horizons.
We are sure that we are not just looking for the right answers. First because in a complex world there are no unique answers, but aried and still possible truths, and secondly, because also often the greatest danger is to
correctly answer a wrong question, so we want to co-create these possible futures by thinking about what the right questions are for envision possible alternatives for a more balanced and reliable world.
The public health crisis is defined by some researchers as a reset, a kind of watershed capable of causing profoundchanges in people’s behavior. “A crisis
like this can change values.” We will have to worry about hygiene safety,consumers should visit safe places. Physical stores will have to reinvent themselves to survive in the post pandemic. They must guarantee safety, hygiene and well-being to employees
The balance between professional career and personal life is a desire that
is increasingly valued by professionals who seek a better quality of life.
Employees satisfied with their duties and with their work routine tend to dedicate
themselves more to their activities and increase their productivity. In the
face of this pandemic, the flexibility of schedules has become a very valuable
alternative to reconcile satisfaction and productivity gains, making it a profitable
equation for both parties.
When people return to public spaces, after the end of restrictions, companies
should invest in strategies to deeply engage consumers, creating places that
bring them a sense of well-being and security.It is expected that there will be a time for people to readjust to the spaces where they accumulate concentration. Bars,
restaurants, cafeterias, food courts, kids’ spaces, gyms and coworking spaces,
must redesign their spaces to reduce crowding.
Around the world, consumers, impacted or pessimistic about the economy,
plan to reduce short and mediumterm spending, especially in nonessential
categories, due to the loss in their financial situation. The shift from “innovative and modern” to “tested and proven” will make sense for many
consumers. There will be a change in consumption habits with the possibility
of conscious consumption in the face of the new reality. People should review
their relationship with consumption, reinforcing the movement: “Consuming
for consumption has gone out of ‘fashion’”.
We will expand the spacing between people, however, the experiences that
move us, that touch our feelings will always be part of our lives and the
challenge is how to let this distance between people impact as little as
possible in human relationships.
As it deals with agglomerations and physical spaces, the future of the
entertainment and culture sector is surrounded by uncertainties. We know
that there has been a change of priority in the use of time: massive increase in
social media, cooking practice, cleaning and housekeeping habits, distance
learning, socializing and physical activities at a distance. We must analyze how we choose and consume to reinvent.
In a future purchase, the service and history are not lost, they are passed
on, continuing the order, and making the customer feel no interruptions or
need to be re-explaining when changing channels. These channels have been
enhanced to facilitate and improve the shopping experience.
Omnichannel is a brand strategy in which all the communication channels
of a company are connected, with the aim of strengthening online and
With the crisis caused by Covid-19, which would normally be a slower
process – assessing what needs to change, checking alternatives, palliative
implementing process changes, all of which accelerated because of the
pandemic. And now innovating has become a matter of survival. In addition,
the needs caused by the new coronavirus drove the discovery and adherence to
technologies, until then, distant from everyday life.
This pandemic is an alert for humanity to rethink its style and priorities in life, so that it can promote self-transformation and conversion to reconnect more
deeply with values and behaviors that can bring well-being to all beings. The
intensification of health awareness should encourage healthier habits
and the constant practice of physical activities that favor body and mind.
In this transition period, we should use virtual entertainment, as it is a market
that uses a lot of physical spaces and at this moment we will be prevented
from such occupation. Thus, we will have augmented reality or virtual reality
and holographic options to immerse ourselves in these trips, tours, and
games in 3D, which we will be able to insert in idle spaces of these enterprises.
The transformation of spaces and the cultivation of food may bring new
options for occupations to the roofs of the undertakings. New ways of reusing
materials and incentives to recycle through scoring and exchanges can help
build customer loyalty. Different ways of capturing energy and concerns with the
environment must translate important values for its users. Biodegradable
packaging must be considered in its full extent.
Greater natural ventilation and architectural elements that favor natural lighting in spaces are in general measures that can help the well-being of users. Expansion
of empty spaces, patios, and atriums, as well as the repertoire of different types of
architectural solutions will facilitate the occupation of spaces by safer and more
confident users. At this time, the use of nature can help in the best configuration of these spaces.
Mass availability of alcohol gel and the presence of washbasins in all food courts
should be primary measures to be adopted in the reopening of the projects. Distance
from tables and reduction of seats should also be considered, as well as excessive
concern regarding the hygiene of spaces.
We must be concerned with sanitizing commercial spaces, consumers should
visit safe places, which show concern regarding the cleanliness of spaces and the
health of their users. Entrances and exits from the developments should be reduced
and, if possible, should contain disinfection machines. Also to be considered: reduction in direct contact between employee and customer, automation of services and
implementation of protection partitions.
Technology should be the newest ally. Furniture materials that allow self-cleaning,
disinfection booths throughout the project, doors, and equipment with automatic
temperature mapping of visitors and suction system for bacteria sedimented on
the floor must be adopted. Also consider digital payment methods and prioritize the
safety and well-being of users.
Mobile malls, food trucks and open markets can be options for this transition
period. Drive-Thru and scheduling store visits can mean safety and well-being.
Disposable and recyclable packaging, replacing self-service restaurant models
with fractionated foods can also help in this process. Idle spaces transformed
into connected studios and accessible to all and all social networks can bring retail
In this period where we live with fear and insecurity, it is important
to believe in a better world where charity, faith, and hope, combined with these values, can overcome individualism. Values and principles that add solidarity, optimism, courage, and strength to emerge transformations capable of exploring
our deepest competences, creating, and providing diverse resources for
creative and differentiated spaces.
Collectively, we think and perform better. We, at LDA, believe that
architecture, since co-created, becomes a vital tool for important
changes in the well-being and safety of human beings.