MoMA curator paola antonelli and design critic alice rawsthorn are collaborating on design emergency, a new project that explores design’s role and impact on the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath. since the coronavirus outbreak began, designers and their collaborators have come up with ingenious solutions to help protect the public from the pandemic, improve treatment facilities and methods, and prepare us for the future (for examples, see designboom’s creative emergency responses). antonelli and rawsthorn  plan to publish a book on design emergency, and are beginning the project with a series of weekly instagram live talks. the first talk took place yesterday, may 7, and saw paola antonelli in conversation with michael murphy, founder of MASS design group.

paola antonelli + alice rawsthorn collaborate on 'design emergency' projectimage courtesy of design emergency, designed by studio frith



‘design is one of our most powerful tools in the COVID-19 crisis,’ reads the statement by design emergency, which recently launched on instagram. ‘the ingenuity, resourcefulness, and generosity of designers and their collaborators worldwide has produced innovations that are helping to protect us from the pandemic, to improve its treatment and to prepare for the radical changes it will introduce to our lives in the future.’ together, rawsthorn and antonelli plan to explore the design community’s reaction to coronavirus, investigate its effectiveness when it comes to addressing urgent problems, and demonstrate its power to tackle the complex social, political, economic and ecological challenges of this intensely turbulent time.


View this post on Instagram

 We chose Michael Murphy as the first speaker in Design Emergency’s new series of IG Live talks (on Thursday 7 May at 11.30 ET, 17.30 CET) because MASS Design Group has become a global leader in humanitarian design since he co-founded it in Boston in 2008. MASS has long specialised in health care projects with a focus on treating infectious diseases, building knowledge and skills that have enabled it to take a lead in the current pandemic. Here are some of its projects: . 1. The Butaro District Hospital was designed by MASS with Partners in Health to be the biggest, most advanced health care facility in a poorly resourced area of northern Rwanda where infectious diseases were rife. It is located on a hilly site to maximise the circulation of cool air in the interior with outdoor rest areas where patients can sit comfortably in shady spots. Trees and shrubs were planted on the surrounding hills to stabilise the soil, create shade and provide soothing views of greenery. . 2. Built by local people from materials found within ten kilometres of the site, the Ilima Primary School was designed by MASS with Arup Engineers and the African Wildlife Foundation in one of the world’s most isolated communities in a jungle in the Democratic Republic of Congo. MASS worked with the community to transform nearby trees into wooden shingles and mud into bricks, as well as training them to maintain and repair the school, which also houses a community centre. 3. After cholera struck Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, MASS was commissioned to design the country’s first specialist cholera centre in Port-au-Prince. MASS worked with local artisans on the Gheskio Cholera Treatment Center, which opened in 2015. Every aspect of the building was designed to control the flow of air and light, and to minimise the risk of infection. It is now a Covid-19 treatment centre. . You can learn more about MASS’s work at . #design #architecture #humanitariandesign #socialdesign @massdesigngroup #butarodistricthospital @partnersinhealth #ilimaprimaryschool #designforhealth #gheskiocholeracenter #designinapandemic @design.emergency . All photographs by @IwanBaan.

A post shared by Design Emergency (@design.emergency) on