With the influenza news flooding around, the designer island has witnessed an influenza of all the workflow and innovations being put to rest for a while now. Training itself to be free from influenza of mind, this quarantine period has seen the design and art community emerging as one for all, all for one.

Honorable Mention | RTF Designer’s Days of Quarantine 2020

Category: Essay Writing
Participant: Sheeny Parwal
Profession: Architect
City: Jaipur

A designer is a free bird, creatively blocked upon caging!

Initially quarantine had been an imprisonment of experiences for the whole world, and not just the designers. Captivity in the walls of a 3*4 home-studio with all the underlying projects shutting down, an uncertainty of their rescheduling has captured us all. With the construction sites shutting off, all the labour going out of reach and with clients backing off with their upcoming projects…the quarantine period has given us all an economic barrier reinforced by the mental barrier weaving its threads stronger each passing day on the first days of Lockdown. Caged in the walls of heart-tearing news flashing 24*7, the sensitivity of an artistic soul could have bashed into pieces very easily.

On the contrary, what could have been a parasitic experience for the whole web of creators has rather emerged as an innovation of upliftment , with a complete sense of togetherness. The proactive designer community with a realisation of the undermining effects the quarantine could lead us through, rather took the shift from procrastination to hyperactivity. All the efforts of converting the 21 days of Lockdown into #21 days of Creative Meditation and perpetual innovations have added a dimension of creative digital platforms. One might view them as a herd movement , the comprehensive understanding of these challenges would allow you to grasp the necessity and urge of keeping the sensitive grey cells immunised from decaying into a Lockdown of mental barriers. These digital platforms and social media groups hosting a wide range of 21 days of creation, has peer pressured the buds of the designer circle to bloom into the flowers of creativity in their own 3*4 home-garden-studios and flourish into a
community of artistry butterflies.

It has been a butterfly effect encouraging individuals to practice creation religiously, and grow unhindered in an explicitly innovative house-arrest. We have all witnessed individuals who were always locked in their cocoons coming out with a skillet of unthinkable. The artist community above all the other communities have come forward with engaging ideas even for the non- artist world.

Let’s pause for a little while and become juvenile !

The life before lockdown was more or less becoming a questionable affair.
An outgrowing competitive environment with our day to day hassles juggling upon us into a pile of zero work-life balance, has been the peak of the situation. We never thought of pausing for a while and revisiting our own progress. It was not that we never wanted to, but we could never convince ourselves with strong narratives for the need to revisit our own pathways.

The lost connection with the environment and the family has been another addressal we never approached ourselves for the guilt it would heap us with.
The quarantine has served us all with enough time to turn over to the pages of our own novels.

Working from home might have been intolerable for most of us in its initial days, but gradually it has flipped the pages of the chapters we had skipped over finding them to be less important and pointless at some or the other point of our lives. This period has allowed us to become more patient and adaptable to the situations hovering over.
Self-Health practices and the value of family time has been inculcated amongst us with no more option of skipping these chapters again.

Nonetheless, with the environment healing on its own has given us perspectives of the spectrum we could not have seen otherwise. With the migratory birds flying back, river beds cleaning on their own, designers should have by now known that there isn’t any problem that can’t be solved.

Once Upon a time, what felt impossible showcasing its unseen shades is corollary of the fact that every problem finds its own innovative measure to be addressed upon, one only needs to broaden up the horizon of the possible solutions, especially the one who is a designer.

“Without wanting to minimize the emergency that surrounds us and is affecting hundreds of millions of people around the world, the Covid explosion has given us some time back. Time for us. Time for the people around us. Time for our interests. And time to do nothing. Today, perhaps the rarest good in our society… Obviously we can write it because we are not on the front line in hospitals to face the emergency, as the whole medical corps is facing a race against time these days. Within the crisis, we can perhaps still consider ourselves lucky. In a few months, at least financially, probably we
will have to discuss it again. We do not know how long this condition will last, but perhaps we should enjoy what we have today more. Perhaps we should stop.”, shares an anonymous designer from Italy.

However restrictive it might sound or however delusioned it might appear for the quarantine days to become normal, they have taught us the correct definition of being normal . These days of endless introspective dialect have forced us to ponder upon the living practices that we have been following lately. It has given us all a time to revisit and replan. They have allowed us to retrospect over the blind folded-ness we have had accustomed ourselves with.

As the designers and shapers of this world, it becomes an edging responsibility of our community to shape our future cities and homes in a way that allows us to overcome the loss and gains of this pandemic. Moreover, the planning that allows us to preach and practice what is right for avoiding the effects of such pandemics in near future.
Share the knowledge , and dialect it for future generations to practice.

The reshaping of the world as the need becomes apparent to us all might take a little more time to furbish into its actual picture. But what has become more important for the designers is to host such conversations, address such questions, debate and dialect over the development of our concrete houses, city planning, and smart city developments. Any design movement is only traced with its urge of discussion of knowing the wrong in our earlier practices, what we need to capture is the fire that we need to burn through the ashes that are left behind.

A full-proof solution to our future cities is a vision for a decade , but needs to be envisioned in this very moment to prepare with a framework of upcoming developments. The solution isn’t any single individual’s responsibility but has to be a collective and collaborative measure to do away with the practices that have gone immensely wrong. We, as the designers of a sustainable future ahead need to Rethink our Future cities, future habitats and future collaborations with our environment aggressively as well as progressively.

The objects that we surround ourselves with, reflect on who we are and what we might become, and interestingly we are the privileged section to rethink about their designing!


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.