We feel like 2020 and the global pandemic situation truly needs no introduction. Everyone around the world has been affected in some way, and here in Italy we have been catapulted into a strange, isolated and sometimes challenging parallel reality. Both students and professionals suddenly found themselves physically removed from their work and study spaces, now having to deal with the difficulties of adapting to work and study from socially distanced locations.
Unexpectedly many things that we were used to being trivial have morphed into issues of extreme importance, while other pursuits that used to take up our time have all but disappeared from the daily radar. In a time of uncertainty, worry and stress, of changing needs and of accelerated rate of events, the only reasonable thing to do is to turn to design’s unstoppable capacity to provide innovative solutions. Starting from the very basic personal safety and hygiene measures necessary during a pandemic, up to the very intangible need for a “mental space” and dealing with the feeling of being overwhelmed. A true, all-encompassing approach to help improve all aspects of life quality through design research, thinking and application.
We have partnered with the Bologna Fine Arts Academy in a contest that saw the Product Design and Fashion Design department students try to asses, analyse and propose solutions to these very diverse and real issues while their schoolwork and workshops remained inevitably on hold during the lockdowns. The contest is titled “Design as a Virus” and was proposed by the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna as a way to keep the students of product design and fashion design depratments occupied and connected during the challenging lockdown times.