Architecture, Pandemics and Resilience

How can we adjust physical and social spaces to increase resilience in times of pandemics?

On the 17th of March we encouraged you all to answer the question “How can we adjust physical and social spaces to increase resilience in times of pandemics?” and many of you came up with very interesting proposals.

The jury evaluated the proposals based on the following criteria:
-Answering the research question and meeting the requirements of the call
-Likelihood of implementation of the solution
-Clear and understandable communication


Competition Winners



Valeria Giovene’s simple, yet persuasive presentation, established her as the winner of this competition.

The jury found a convincing red line between Valeria’s reflections on resilience and her solution to strengthen this resilience. Her suggestion is a physical as well as social construction that can prevent the alienation and isolation of the infected individuals – often the most vulnerable in society, as Valeria notes.

Not only does Valeria’s proposal address an important psychological need in times of pandemics, it is also a clear and scalable solution, which is easy to implement and adjust to different settings.



Percibald García was granted 2nd place for a detailed, creative and high-quality proposal.

Not only did Percibald’s proposal persuade the jury with its alternative form of communication, but it also stood out by challenging the dominating understanding of resilience in times of pandemics, by dealing with those who cannot afford to go into quarantine, a large and often unheard part of the world’s population. Although provocative in its title, we found that Percibald raises an important argument: there is no unison solution to fight COVID-19.

We found the proposal convincing in both arguing for the need to adapt the response to COVID-19 to different social and physical settings, as well as presenting a solution; an adjustment of the social spaces and internal organization strategies of a community.



Olga Srejic’s proposal addresses a very common issue in times of pandemics as the lack of capacity of medical centres, suggesting planning each of them and its surroundings as potential health facilities in case of outbreaks, with different stages of expansion regarding the needs of each moment.

The proposal manages to address in a quite logical way and with very simple diagrams all of the topics suggested on the brief: architecture and planning, pandemics and most of all strategy, mitigation and resilience.

Olga’s proposal triggered many follow up questions within the jury as such: How often are health centres surrounded by those somehow flexible facilities? And how can we manage that situation when the existing urban distribution does not provide such conveniences? What can we do in regards of the existing medical centers and the re-purposing of its surroundings?