I’m doing my first event for The Great Indoors this week, and I’m really excited about it. On Wednesday, I’ll be having a live Zoom conversation with Mary Roach, the author of NYT-bestselling books Stiff, Spook, Packing for Mars, and more. Annalee Newitz, the author of Four Lost Cities and The Future of Another Timeline, will moderate. We’ll be talking about death, hospital design, and whether open offices have a future in our post-pandemic world.
Wednesday, May 13
3 PM Eastern / 12 PM Pacific
The event is pay-what-you-can. Chip in $5 or $10 or $20 if you can, but even if you can’t afford a donation, we’d still absolutely love to have you tune in. No donation is required!
The Indoors Outdoors
As the world begins to slowly re-open, I’ve been fascinated by some of the proposals to try to make public spaces safer. CNN reported on an Amsterdam restaurant that installed “quarantine greenhouses” to keep diners isolated from each other. It sounds dystopian, but there’s something sort of lovely and romantic about the way these structures look, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some of these designs stick around even after this pandemic is over.
Some publications also reported that Italy was considering erecting plexiglass booths for beachgoers. It’s not clear whether this was a serious proposal, but even if it wasn’t, the renderings (some of which I’ve included below) are an amazing testament to the times (and deserve a spot in the 2020 time capsule I’m assembling in my mind):
*and some outdoor
Think you’re lonely? Imagine what it’s like quarantining in a ghost town.
Check out this amazing coronavirus street art.
Will the cubicle make a comeback?
Speaking of microbes: “No Yeast at the Store? No Problem. It’s Everywhere in Your Home.”
How the pandemic will change retail—and urban life in America
We’re already beginning to rethink, and redesign, public space: “Bit by bit, cities are rolling out informal instruction manuals for a new standard of social behavior, and the messages can feel infantilizing: Stand here, don’t sit there, keep out. But tape is also a liberating force, breathing new flexibility into urban infrastructure that is built to resist change. The challenge of the next chapter will be to make that flexibility permanent.”
If we want to stop the spread of the coronavirus, we need to pay more attention to group settings—like prisons, nursing homes, and prisons—which are home to many of our most marginalized and vulnerable citizens.
“I Do Not Want to Die in Here”: Letters From the Houston Jail
I love this so much: A squid scientist is taking questions via sidewalk chalk.
I love this, too. New Yorkers in search of a bit of fresh air are taking to their roofs:
Bonus Interspecies Animal Content
Hope to see you all on Zoom on Wednesday!