Grand Designs magazine Editor at Large Kevin McCloud wants to hear how you have converted, adapted and reworked your home in these extraordinary times.
"Charles Darwin, author of On the Origin of Species, wrote, ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change, that lives within the means available and works co-operatively against common threats.’ If Darwin was right, and on the whole he was, in our new order where Covid is the common threat, those who can adapt to change, be resourceful and think creatively are going to fare better.
Until eight months ago our homes were the impregnable bastions of privacy, our sanctuaries and places of rest. Daily life was a predictable cycle of eating, lounging, sleeping and staring at our phones. For many of us our homes were the retreats that bracketed our days spent in cars and offices.
Now all that has changed. Our homes have had to become schools, workplaces, pubs and parcel depots. Our routines have become dizzyingly complex as we lurch from hometeaching to FaceZooming family and friends to ordering sourdough kits online to f inding some miserable corner of a room that we can squeeze our entire working life into while balancing our laptop on a pile of ironing that has been there for 14 weeks.
Image: This fold-out home work space was created by Studio Ben Allen for a one bedroom flat in the Barbican Centre. Photo: FRENCH + TYE
It is chaos out there and it is chaos inside too, so how can we resiliently adapt our homes to be lockdown-compliant? I’m not asking what our one-off, architect-designed new homes are going to look like post-Covid, but how we can all change the homes that we’ve lived in and loved for years. Our semis and bungalows, flats and terraces. How are we supposed to squeeze all those activities in?
From classroom to bakery to yoga studio, our homes must be adaptable like never before and traditionally never did. Clothes washing was done outside for hundreds of years, so why not put your machines in your garage? Or combine an awning with some decking to create your very own ‘stoop’ on which to balance a rocking chair, smoke a pipe and whittle a stick or two? The dog will also want to hang out there with you in your new ‘outdoor room’ which you could also rechristen as the ‘outdoor classroom’ for eleven months of the year.
Image: Architects Boano Prišmontas kept busy over lockdown by designing a compact modular home office that can fit into almost any size garden
To re-quote Darwin, ‘In the long history of humankind (and animal kind too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.’ This, then, is a call-out to all of you, a serious appeal to every one of our readers. Darwin talks of collaboration and, working co-operatively, my editor Karen and I would like to hear your ideas for how you have converted, adapted and reworked your homes in these extraordinary times.
We want you to write to us with your experiences and your dreams of how you might adapt your dwelling to our new home-centric culture where the buildings we live in become more important to us than ever. We’ll then pool the best of them and produce what will be, I think, a remarkable, resourceful and indispensable guide for how we can adapt our homes to be f it to survive. You will be the authors of it. We will be the editors.'
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