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Homes Actually Need to Be Practical Now

Rethinking utility

A home of any kind is a blessing. But quarantine also means that small elements of home design can have significant consequences.

How much space you have, the number of rooms, whether you have internet, a dishwasher and washing machine, whether you have an area in which to exercise or be alone or be together or cook or get fresh air—those factors will now take on even more weight.

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Homes Actually Need to Be Practical Now

Homes Actually Need to Be Practical Now

https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/03/finding-privacy-during-pandemic/608944/

theatlantic.com

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Key Ideas

Shelter and refuge

Our homes are now being used not only as shelter and refuge, but also as workplace and school and gym and theater and restaurant and bar and laundry and town square.
But whether a house or a compact apartment, those dwellings were never meant to be as profoundly multifunctional as a shelter-in-place scenario requires them to be.

Rethinking utility

A home of any kind is a blessing. But quarantine also means that small elements of home design can have significant consequences.

How much space you have, the number of rooms, whether you have internet, a dishwasher and washing machine, whether you have an area in which to exercise or be alone or be together or cook or get fresh air—those factors will now take on even more weight.

Home as the only place

Confinement can heighten existing tensions and threats. It can also create new ones.
  • Even people who are usually good at handling stress can find their mental health affected by periods of continuous closeness. 
  • Constant togetherness can be a great thing, right up until it isn’t. So if you live with others and find yourself needing space of your own, tell them that.
  • Use creative hacks: for example, if a bedroom is doubling as an office, create the ritual, at the start of the workday, of shutting the door (a sign that the bedroom is now a workspace).

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

What Home Feels Like
What Home Feels Like

We often confuse the structural, physical entity that is the house as home. It may be the body of the home, and just like we relate to our body, the home relates to the house structure.

Home Is A Soul

Just as we are extremely lucky if we get one great love in our lives, we should consider ourselves lucky if we get a real home. The abstract concept of a home is almost supernatural, with the house being the architecture, providing shelter. Great architecture is like the external beauty of a person, which may or may not be corresponding to what the person really is from inside.

Nevertheless, the outside is what provides a lust, a longing to see what’s inside.

Architecture Is Fascinating

Architects are creators in the real sense. They can conceptualize and implement great design and arouse deep feelings just by the work they do.

Their work is a siren call for many, both romantic and high in status.

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Mental health during a crisis
Mental health during a crisis

The crisis caused by the new virus has left us with an unprecedented set of unfamiliar emotions.

We have highs and lows on top of the undercurrent of an unbearable dread. The undercurrent i...

Prolonged uncertainty

We are dealing with the feeling of uncertainty, and we don't know when our feeling of uncertainty will end.

We dream about when we can safely leave our homes, see our loved ones, and go back to normal. We wonder if our businesses will reopen or when we will stop feeling so paralyzed with fear.

Ambiguous loss

We have lost so much, and many elements missing from our normal lives are intangible and can hardly be identified. Because it is ambiguous, we find it difficult to know what we are mourning.

It is a loss of the way we have lived, the boundaries between work, home, school. Our plans, weddings, birthday parties, loss of safety and trust in our leadership. The loss of connection, the fear of economic toll.

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The Downside Of Using AC
The Downside Of Using AC

Air conditioning is necessary, but too much of artificially cooled air drives up CFC gas emission, increases our power bills, makes power plants consume more fossil fuels, and makes us addicted to ...

Heat And Humidity

One of the most natural ways to get rid of our bodies of excessive heat is to have a good sweat.

Humidity becomes a spoilsport in this, and having dry air around your body helps in regularizing your body temperature.

The Architecture our Houses In Regulating Temperature
  • Hot air rises above, so an exhaust fan installed at the top edge of the room can push it out. This also regulates the humidity.
  • A cool breeze can be given way to drive out the stale, humid air of the room, making it comfortable without an air conditioner.
  • A large porch absorbs direct sunlight, ensuring rooms do not overheat.
  • Older houses had chimneys and cupolas that helped in air ventilation, something that can be considered.

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Loneliness before quarantine

We crave intimacy. And yet, long before the present pandemic, with its forced isolation and social distancing, humans had begun building their own separate cells. 

Before modern times...

Loneliness is a form of grief

It is an umbrella term we use to cover for all sorts of things most people would rather not name and have no idea how to fix.
Plenty of people like to be alone. But solitude and seclusion are different from loneliness. Loneliness is a state of profound distress.

The evolutionary theory of loneliness

Primates need to belong to an intimate social group in order to survive; this is especially true for humans.
Separation from your group (either finding yourself alone or finding yourself among a group of people who do not know and understand you) triggers a fight-or-flight response.

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The Infectious Disease Spreads

As a Pandemic spreads across the world, countries have initiated lockdowns, closing schools and non-essential businesses, leaving most of us at home.


Protecting Ourselves From...

Elders

Elders and anyone with a compromised immune system have to be taken care of by limiting direct contact with them while making sure any contact is done after thoroughly washing the hands. One can stay connected using text messages, phone calls or video chat, as we have to avoid visiting elders at any cost.

Being With An Exposed Person

Infected people are initially unable to realize they are, in fact, infected, as there are no symptoms. Yet they are spreading the infection to others silently.


  • It is imperative to limit contact with others in one’s household, and practice social distancing from them, in separate rooms.
  • Wash your hands regularly and maintain good hygiene.
  • Do not share utensils or household items.
  • Clean surfaces like remote controllers, handles, faucets and your phone, with mild cleaning liquids.
  • Self-quarantine is required for at least 14 days.

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Natural light

Natural light is the most fundamental element of a welcoming space.

Employees prefer natural light and views of the outdoors to onsite cafeterias, fitness centers, and daycare. Natura...

Add in the green

People who work in offices with leafy green plants concentrate better than those who work without greenery. Reconnecting workers with a natural environment results in fewer sick days. 

Adding some plants to the office will give your team both a brain and a mood boost.

Consider your company's needs

How do your teams work best? What are their physical and technological needs?

The seven attributes to consider when determining your optimal workspace: location, enclosure, exposure, technology, temporality, perspective, and size.

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Couples In Lockdown

In lockdown(or home quarantine), relationships are being stress-tested across the globe, as couples and partners live together 24/7, and have to deal with:

  • New kinds of stressful situa...
Listen More

Everyone is stressed out as there are losses all around. Most of us miss life before the lockdown. It is a good idea to let those feelings come out, listen attentively to the partner, and maybe give a hug, while avoiding any ‘fix-it’ response.

Rituals

Rituals are important to maintain a positive connection. A ritual can be anything that makes you and your partner regularly turn towards each other, emotionally, physically or spiritually.


Rituals of connection form the pillars of this culture, making the bond stronger by reinforcing it.

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Keeping fit

Everyone is stressed at the moment and are not sleeping well. Exercise can decrease stress and anxiety. Moving will likely improve your sleep.

Who can exercise
  • If you are under 70 with no underlying conditions, you can walk the dog, go for a run or a bike ride, provided you keep your distance.
  • If you are over 70 and self-isolating, or pregnant, or having an underlying health condition but feel well, you can also go outside for exercise while keeping your distance.
  • If you have symptoms, or someone in your household has them, it is essential to use movement and activity while isolating yourself.
  • If you are unwell, use your energy to get better, but not to be active.
  • If you are feeling better after having had the virus, return to your regular routine gradually.
Chair tricep dips
  • Sit on the edge of a chair holding onto the front with your hands.
  • Place your feet out in front of you (bent legs for easier option or straight legs to make it harder)
  • Lower your elbows to a 90-degree angle before pushing back up.

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Performances In Isolation
  • The world is used to seeing people performing in the iconic public streets and podiums all across the planet, it is a strange sight now, with near-total emptiness and silence as ‘Quaranti...

Two of the biggest innovations
Two of the biggest innovations

Two of the biggest innovations of modern times are cars and airplanes. At first, every new invention looks like a toy. It takes decades for people to realise the potential of it.

Innovation is driven by incentives

There are three types of incentives:

  1. "If I don't figure this out, I might get fired." It will get you moving.
  2. "If I figure this out, I might help people and make a lot of money." It will produce creativity.
  3. "If we don't figure this out now, our very existence is threatened." Militaries deal with this, and it will fuel the most incredible problem-solving and innovation in a short time.

During World War II, there was a burst of scientific progress that took place. The government was in effect saying that if a discovery had any possible war value, then it had to be developed and put in use, regardless of the expense.

The conditions for big innovations to happen

The biggest innovations seldom happen when everyone's happy or safe. They happen when people are a little panicked and worried, and when they have to act quickly.

In 1932, the stock market fell by 89%. It was an economic disaster where almost a quarter of Americans were out of work. However, the 1930s was also the most productive and technologically progressive decade in history. Economist Alex Field writes that in 1941, the U.S. economy produced almost 40 percent more output than it had in 1929, with little increase in labor hours or private-sector capital input.

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