Design research-in-the-moment : eliciting evolutive traces during the Covid-19 crisis

Rodgers, Paul A. and Galdon, Fernando and Bremner, Craig (2020) Design research-in-the-moment : eliciting evolutive traces during the Covid-19 crisis. Strategic Design Research Journal, 13 (3). pp. 312-326. ISSN 1984-2988

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    Abstract

    This paper presents a chronological account of design’s response to the Covid-19 crisis as it unfolded globally. From January to May 2020, we documented over 500 design interventions that have been created by individuals, networks, amateurs, professionals, and public and private organizations and institutions. This international response witnessed the rapid design and development of products, networks and systems such as facemasks, hospitals, infographics, respirators, sanitizers, and virtual communities all created in an effort to save us. In response to the Covid-19 virus the problems that the world faced were highly complex, interdependent, and could not be addressed by conventional means. As such, this paper presents over 500 design-led responses that illustrate comprehensively that when pressed we can find new ways of designing. In short, this work outlines what we might think of as a new model for designing. This new model does not describe a new condition to come after what we currently call design. Rather, what we witness here is the revival of the practice of design – from handmaiden of Capital to one of Care – which is expressed in a new critical attitude for looking at the design world, probing its practice, its theoretical position and its product.