Chronicles of Care: A Design History of the Covid-19 Virus

Craig Bremner, Fernando Galdon, Paul A. Rodgers

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

The Covid-19 crisis and the designed interventions that the authors have catalogued in this book prove definitively that design does care. The authors documented this as it evolved every day from the 1st January 2020 to 31st May 2020 inclusive. Then they looked at all of this care and caring from the point of view of design and, by the sheer volume of design interventions they have documented, illustrate that design is good in a crisis.
What the Covid-19 pandemic illustrated is that for the first time in modern history, capital was totally irrelevant. Money could not save your life. Only design could. Rapidly designed masks, shelters, hospitals, instructional posters, infographics, dashboards, respirators, sanitisers, virtual and local communities emerged to save us. From January 2020, design became king.
The Covid-19 global pandemic presented an ontological reality; design is more than margins or profit. In fact, design became extremely valuable when it stopped concentrating on those things and started to care about peoples’ lives. This brief episode in history is still repositioning the status of design and reconfiguring its signifier from consumption to care.
The contents of this book cover the outbreak, lockdown, and the beginning of the reopening in the UK. In between, the book functions as a history of pandemic crisis design interventions. As such it is a “research-in-the-moment project” where we have illustrated our thoughts and insights in tables, charts and diagrams. We have accepted all design interventions as valid and given them the same role and status by presenting each of them in a standard format. No curation. No selection. No position. The task of critical analysis must follow – perhaps by us, certainly by others.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDelaware, USA & Malaga, Spain
PublisherVernon Press
Number of pages372
ISBN (Print)978-1-64889-718-4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

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