Discussion abounds regarding how the world will change post-Coronavirus. As the human population grows denser, scientists are racing to protect humanity from future pandemics. Designers can play their part as well.  

Global research is advancing in the development of self‐sterilizing materials. Bio‐tech firms, such as US company PolyMedix Inc, are producing self‐sterilizing polymers that can be used in paints, textiles, and plastics to produce super-hygenic surfaces and products. Studies into these antibacterial polymers show that they can kill bacteria within seconds, making them invaluable for use in higher-risk places such as hospitals, aged care facilities and child cares. Using scientific developments to better design our public spaces may be critical in the future, and designers must be ready to make use of those developments creatively.

In recent years we have all seen the introduction of more automated, touch-less devices in public toilets to reduce the spread of disease by controlling doors, toilet flushers, taps, liquid soap dispensers, hand driers, etc. Clever design can also dispense with toilet doors, something many of us will have experienced at Adelaide Airport.  

While heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are present in most buildings throughout Australia, but not many systems are designed to instantly monitor the indoor air quality.  Systems that can monitor air quality can measure ventilation rates, detect air pollutants and monitor temperature, humidity, air particles and radiation. Both portable and fixed monitoring systems are available, and range from basic to exceptionally sophisticated. Utilising available technology, such as monitoring systems, can play an important part in improving how healthy the environments in our buildings are. 

Arcuate has always actively researched design solutions and strategies that help in creating healthy environments. We intend to explore innovative technologies and design strategies for healthy living in future blogs, and would encourage all fellow designers to join this conversation and help provide information that will benefit our community as a whole. As they say– we are all in this together.