#10: Go Ahead — Rethink Everything!
May you live in interesting times.
— Dubious blessing of apocryphal Chinese origin
As I write this, the US has surpassed 260,000 Covid-19 deaths, Oregon continues to hit grim milestones for new daily records for both cases and active hospitalizations, and new closures and lockdowns, necessary to contain the spread of the virus, are again putting people’s livelihoods at risk all over the nation. Despite the hope that comes with a change in leadership in Washington, times are tough for so many right now.
But you may have noticed a common thread in this Workplace blog series, cryptically entitled *ahem* Silver Linings. Yes, times are tough right now. And maybe it’s going to get worse before it gets better. But, despite that, this is a time for optimism, not pessimism. Living in a pandemic is not a permanent condition, and, with vaccines on the horizon, we can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Instead of spending the next few months perfecting our doomscrolling technique (come on, we’re pros at that by now), let’s refocus on our immediate sphere of influence and this profound liminal moment we find ourselves in. As professionals in the design and construction industry, we can have an outsize impact on the future because our work bridges science, engineering, art and culture. Let’s acknowledge we will never have a better chance in our lives to fundamentally rethink the meaning and purpose of our work.
So how are you going to use this time? It doesn’t need to be a larger-than-life aspiration (though it could be). But take this moment seriously. Reflect on how, over the next few months, you can make a difference in your studio, industry, community, and perhaps even in the larger world.
For those of us in SERA’s Workplace studio, we are challenging what we know about creating spaces that enhance focus, foster collaboration and diversity, encourage creativity, and crucially, promote individual and collective health and wellbeing. We are using this transitional moment in our shared history to develop, test and implement new tools, innovations and processes of project delivery. We want to push forward bold design ideas that enhance the human experience and connect people to each other and back to nature.
We are rethinking everything. Because if not now, when?
Rather than focus on nebulous goals of a better tomorrow, in this second Silver Linings blog series, we’ll be looking at some tangible ways that we can make meaningful changes in the work we do, the buildings and spaces we design, and the communities we serve. Join us next week as we begin looking at the new potential for the post-Covid office building experience.