Architecture – the roles and methods to effectively adapt to the current pandemic outbreak

(VLU, 03/11/2021) - On the morning of 24 October 2021, the Faculty of Architecture at Van Lang University organized the first session of the webinar series on “Architecture adapting to the Covid-19 pandemic.” With its topic on “Effectively Adaptation,” the webinar consisted of three sections introducing the discussion about the pandemic situation with the field’s experts.

The three topics introduced at the webinar included:

Topic 1: Studying the infecting mechanism and prevention methods for the Covid-19 pandemic
Speaker: Dr. Truong Huu Khanh – Former Director of the Infectious Diseases and Neurology Department at the Children’s Hospital 1 – HCMC.

Topic 2: The temporary solutions for situation adaptation and risk management
Speaker: Mr. Nguyen Chanh Phuong – General Director of AKA Furniture Company

Topic 3: A perspective of Architecture as a career amidst the current circumstance
Speaker: Mr. Tran Khanh Trung – Lead Architect at TTT Architects

vlu webinar thich nghi cung dai dich aThe webinar on “Effective Adaptation” was a part of the webinar series on “Architecture to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic” organized by the Faculty of Architecture at Van Lang University.

Architecture is not your daily construction site but a way of thinking, experiencing, and proposing the world’s challenges and solutions. As the Covid-19 pandemic has spread in the last two years, the whole world has the chance to adapt to it; human needs to modify their lifestyle to enhance the immune system and their mindset on how to cope with the new mechanisms, social and economic situations. Architecture is no exception; the architects play a prominent role in rebuilding the context of the working, living and communal spaces to suit the pandemic outbreak. The event welcomed scholars and notable experts from different fields such as healthcare, business, and education to provide the students and future designers with general knowledge and multidisciplinary perspectives on the solutions for interior design, architecture, and urban planning to help them get well-prepared for the future career and become a productive member for the society.

The infecting and preventing mechanisms of the CoronaVirus’ structure

The architecture of a hospital is among the most complex ones and is even get a separate category in other countries’ architectural systems. Vietnam is a tropical country, which helps us relieve the impacts of temperature occurring in other western nations. Not only introducing the typical architectures as the dominant infectious factor in our neighboring countries, M.D. Truong Huu Khanh also explained why Vietnam had more advantages in preventing and fighting against the pandemic. “Viruses are not airborne; they just exist in the air.” – M.D. Truong Huu Khanh emphasized. It is why architects guarantee the hospital’s functioning ventilation system to dilute the virus concentration and reduce the infectious rate.

Architecture as a career and its journey during the Covid-19 pandemic

At this time of the year, lumber mills usually function at their max capacity to keep up with purchase orders. However, in 2021, the pandemic has caused 60% of lumber mills in HCMC, Binh Duong, and Dong Nai province to halt their operation due to incompliance of the “three at-sight” code.

“In mid-July, I got a call from the Director of the Department of Trade and Commerce asking to manufacture coffins. I was chilled by the serious situation then. I decided to contact the Association’s Chairman to ask how my company could produce “green” coffin lines in secret because this scoop would result in the people’s anxiety. Fortunately, that line of the coffin was altered by a more suitable line made of carton paper.” – Speaker Nguyen Chanh Phuong said. Moreover, on 23 July, he ordered 300 temporary beds for Tay Ninh and Long An province.

This circumstance marked a significant change for Architecture. In which, they had to create products that met the eyes and were practical for society. It indicated a customer’s major adjustment caused by the pandemic outbreak, which architects must pay attention to.

“5K + 1” code and its applications to Design fields

Currently, the government is trying to isolate the infected areas and come up with many quarantine methods. The medical staff is putting their all to save the patients in serious condition. The scientists are working the best to create more types of vaccines to minimize community-acquired infections.

Designer may participate in fight at hand or in the long run by making changes in architectural planning, architectural designs, and new architectural models along with new standards and trends matching with the pandemic situation.” – said Mr. Tran Khanh Trung.

The unexpected occurrence of the Covid-19 pandemic is the opportunity for young architects to review and propose more practical and humanitarian contributions. Future architects must actively participate in the cause for Architectural development, especially green architecture, and offer architectural solutions to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.


Phuong Anh Huynh
Translated by: An Pham 

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