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Log, Issue 49

Author: Neeraj Bhatia

Date: 2020


“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend life, one of its most dramatic effects has been the spatial diffusion and confinement of the population to the private domestic interior. Social distancing, or, more aptly, spatial distancing, has a paradoxical social agenda: to strengthen the collective, we need to spatially separate from it. The public arena of the polis is quickly and exclusively being replaced by mediated forms of communication. Simultaneously, the private realm has become the de facto extent of our spatial environment – full of the same unchecked subjectivities, familial hierarchies, and lack of reality provided by the spatial public realm. If spatial distancing is the most effective mitigation measure that the average person can employ in everyday life – which is to say, it is the least abstract engagement most have with the virus – one of the lasting consequences of the pandemic (likely even greater than a critique of the healthcare, economic, or ecological regulatory systems) will be a fear of gathering together. At a moment when the collective feels physically formless, how might designers address collective form and their forums in a post-pandemic globe?”

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