Frame #135


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Although life after Covid-19 is still uncertain, our July/August issue sets out signposts from the present that show how the design of work, retail and hospitality spaces can help these sectors not only survive, but thrive. Now, and in the future.

Reporting From
Having left the Netherlands on a working holiday when shelter-in-place orders were issued, Tracey Ingram had to hunker down in rural New Zealand – a location that puts the isolation in self-isolation. Floor Kuitert, who saw her Amsterdam apartment transform into a Michelin-starred-restaurant while social distancing, witnesses a promising (make)shift in the takeaway and delivery-driven hospitality market.

In Practice
The duo behind Shanghai-based Sò Studio talks about the connection between its ‘innovation architecture’ practice and contemporary art. Chair man Konstantin Grcic relates how his early encounters with the old made him look towards the future. The cofounders of Belgian co-working company Fosbury & Sons explain why it’s more important than ever for workspaces to support business flexibility. And Australian artist and director Anita Fontaine discusses her work in emerging technologies.

Semiotics agency Axis Mundi looks at how hospitality spaces are starting to reference the enigmatic atmosphere of clandestine environments. What’s more, we explore the rise – and design – of delivery-driven spaces, how shopping malls are metamorphosing into entirely new typologies or coexistence models, and how multifamily homes can support social and solo time.

Post-Pandemic Space Lab
The checkouts are silent, desks empty and stools upturned on the bar. The current pandemic has pressed pause on the businesses whose activity usually fills these pages. But now is not the time to be inactive. If we are to share space with one other again then the nature of those spaces will have to be rethought, incrementally at first and then more fundamentally as we start to build our capacity to better weather such crises in the future. Many of the clues as to what this could look like already exist – what’s required now is to identify, invest and implement them more fully. Here we examine the consequences Covid-19 has on work, hospitality and retail.

The Challenge: Shaping the 1.5-metre society
In the lead-up to each issue, we challenge designers to respond to the Frame Lab theme with a forward-looking concept. Following long lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 crisis, governments across the globe are looking for ways to restart their economies while preventing the risk for another outbreak. In search of a safe solution, many called for a 1.5-metre society that secures social distancing. But how will this impact our shared spaces? How can they adapt to the new normal? Three creative studios share their ideas.


The latest products and innovations from around the globe, from an augmented reality sofa to Riso-inspired rugs. Kettal productizes Richard Neutra’s penthouse and VanMoof aims to get the next billion on bikes.

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