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Pandemics and Design

Al Journal

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The emergence of Covid-19 and the ongoing lockdowns changed the way we live. Chronicles of those early days of the pandemic read like opening chapters of dystopian sci-fi books. Global self-isolation and social distancing measures were implemented, words like ‘quarantine’, ‘super-spreader’, and ‘anti-vax’ entered our lexicon, and travel became synonymous with a ‘traffic light system’. Like all industries and professionals, from frontline healthcare workers to educators, designers have also had to urgently adjust and respond to the changing climate. How have designers responded to the global pandemics past and present? And what role does design play in providing solutions when global catastrophes arise?

The timely theme for our first issue of Al Journal is ‘Design in Pandemics’, a look at how designers have long responded to global epidemics from the Spanish flu to the most recent COVID-19 virus and the important role that design has played in curbing the spread of viruses.

  • All Things Design and COVID-19. In our first edition of Liwan Sessions, part of our ongoing series for Al Journal, architect and designer Thomas Modeen spoke with Qatar's leading architects and urbanists, Ibrahim Al-Jaida and Fatma Al-Sahlawi on all things design and COVID-19. 

  • Animal Crossings: New Horizons. An Open-Source Platform for Designers to Exchange Cultural Creations and Host Traditional Activities During the COVID-19 pandemic by Maryam Homaid