COVID-19, design and social needs: an investigation of emerging issues

The global public health crisis generated by the spread of COVID-19 has revealed – and is still showing – the strong correlation between two apparently disparate fields of research: built environment and health. Although in this time of emergency, the science of architecture could offer a remarkable contribution to rethinking new living and working spaces, the ongoing pandemic has, in terms of people’s well-being, disclosed the weaknesses of a vast number of architectural design choices implemented until now. Hence, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the users’ space fulfilment has been herein explored and analysed through a systematic literature review process for collecting data and exploring gaps and opportunities revealed in this period. The COVID-19 pandemic and especially the quarantine constrictions have revealed a high level of dissatisfaction with the quality of living space as well as the lack of flexibility and adaptability. This study has outlined the main critical aspects to be considered for shaping and re-building new ways of living in a post-COVID-19 society. Thus, rather than focusing on specific future solutions, this study aims to collect the main issues and planning opportunities by showing the need for a valuable transdisciplinary approach that could address people’s demands, especially from a sociological, anthropological, psychological and health perspective.