What is the real purpose of architecture and design, especially today after having experienced the effects of the corona virus pandemic?
We talk about this topic in the video interview with Keith Pillow founder of the Maltese architecture and design studio DAAA Haus with offices in Malta, Milan, Ragusa and Mumbai.
Just in Mumbai, DAAA Haus has recently put into practice what has been its motto for a decade: “Good design can make the world a better place”.
So the coworking project that opened the construction site on the eve of the pandemic, is completely revisited in view of the new health needs: an emblematic case history and a new business model, too.
Last February in Mumbai the construction of the Base coworking space began achieving the project that had been defined some months ago, in line with the briefing and accepted by the client.
But the spread of the pandemic stops the work and DAAA Haus feels the ethical need to review the project at its expense with the awareness the architectural parameters are changing in light of the current situation.
DAAA Haus redesigned the 1000 sqm coworking planned for over 350 people that will now host 280 people.
The new solutions adopted prevent gathering, not only by reducing the workstations, but also by reviewing the layout; now the set up includes several small break areas instead of a single centralized one.
The choice of materials has also been changed, for example, for the sound absorbing panels, the felt that cannot be washed has been eliminated.
Some technological solutions were chosen, also due to the strong scientific background of the client. To avoid contact with the surfaces and maintain hygiene, special sensors have been introduced for the automatic opening of the doors and the supply of water in the toilets. The flow from the taps will also be regulated with an atomization that reduces the waste of water.
So the new design proposal presented by DAAA Haus to the client also included small changes for the respect of the planet and the protection of the individual, in addition to reducing the density to ensure social distancing.
It was not so obvious that the customer would accept 70 fewer seats and higher costs for the introduction of contactless technologies, but the response was enthusiastic.
Demonstrating its innovative and forward-looking perspective, the customer saw in these changes the opportunity to offer higher standard services without any competitor and point to a different target audience, more attentive to quality and safety.
“Like many creative colleagues all over the world – Keith Pillow quoted- we have had the opportunity to rethink everything we are doing and how we should look to the future.
Design and architecture should not just be the result of a client brief with the aim of developing iconic buildings and maximizing profits. Architecture is lived by people and now there are basic standards and needs that are radically changing. End users must be protected by professionals who work with integrity and passion and believe that Design can make the world a better place. ”
… And a people and environment centered design can also make coworking a better place.