A reflection on the role of design amid (and beyond)
a global pandemic from a multi-disciplinary perspective
Pandemics, as it turns out, are rough. Unless you were around for the Spanish Flu during the early 20th century, COVID-19 will be the first global pandemic of your lifetime. Reflecting on this historic event is challenging while we are still mired in its reverberating effects. March 2020 marked the beginning of new ways of learning, working, socializing, and staying healthy for everyone on the planet. Here, through the lens of future problem solvers, we contemplate the reality of living amid COVID-19 and the challenges of designing for a post-pandemic world. Emerging designers, experiencing the pandemic firsthand, are adapting to novel ways of working together, framing problems, communicating information, sharing ideas, and speculating about the future. The work they have produced this year illuminates the spatial, material, informational, and social impacts of living apart and the logistics and adjustments of coming back together. Viral Design represents a diversity of work that engages with real world problems and ultimately reflects on the role and possibilities of design in our contemporary world.