We know that this has been a most trying time as you look after the well-being of your institutions and enterprises (as well as yourselves and your loved ones). We love working with you because of the passion and intelligence that you bring to the work that you do. And though we value the forms of communication that technology affords us, we miss you.
Like you, we wonder about how the current pandemic will affect the physical places we create, nurture, and inhabit. We wonder what the future holds for higher education, work, and our cultural institutions. Might the current crisis impel us to restructure and refocus our institutions and business enterprises to create a more just, inclusive, and resilient society? How might we reimagine our physical places to support these new imperatives? What new roles will emerge for our physical places in the service of society for the rest of this century and beyond?
There will be time to answer these questions. For now, however, we offer the following perspective based on the words of British architect Frank Duffy from his book, "Work and the City":
Places are impregnated with memory, association, recall, and resonance.
Places create opportunities—they engender serendipitous encounters—happy coincidences that occur at parties and social events and in the streets.
Places express meaning, subtlety, beauty, and pleasure.
We believe that the role of physical places will be amplified. We will look to them to be even more robust catalysts for social connection. They will continue to play a pivotal role in making our communities more resilient and in ensuring the well-being of all. We will no longer take for granted our ability to come together in the same setting. We will revel in the places we go for conviviality, shared purpose, and re-energize. And, we’ll make them safe.
In the coming weeks and months, feel free to reach out to us to let us know how you are doing. Or, just say, “Hello.” We can’t wait to see you when this Great Distancing is over. And, we look forward to future conversations to help you advance your incredibly important work.
Your Friends at Workshop Architects