cover image The Pandemic Effect: Ninety Experts on Immunizing the Built Environment

The Pandemic Effect: Ninety Experts on Immunizing the Built Environment

Edited by Blaine Brownell. Princeton Architectural, $30 (208p) ISBN 978-1-64896-164-9

In this illuminating collection of short essays, 90 architects, building designers, and public health officials reflect on “the built environment’s relationship to communicable disease.” Architect Brownell (Hypernatural) writes in the introduction that modern buildings are designed to prioritize cheap materials at the expense of human health and environmental sustainability, but that better design could be a boon to human health. In “The Nowhere Office,” Julia Hobsbawm considers what role offices will play in the future of work, and “Quarantine, or the Art of Intermediary Space” by Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley looks at how quarantine, invented as a means of controlling the Black Death in the 14th century, has changed over time. Practical solutions are in no short supply: radiant cooling is a good idea per Weitzman architecture professor Dorit Aviv; architect and engineer Kyoung Hee Kim touts the biochromic window, which uses “multifunctional microalgae” to improve air quality; and designers should incorporate more foot-pulls to doors, according to public health administrator Nancy Mourad. The short pieces are easy to dip in and out of—each is about a page long—and photos and diagrams show the design principles in action. Smart and creative, this compendium delivers. (Jan.)