Connecting Isolation: Medium-Density Housing To Improve Connections For Well-Being In Isolated Pandemic Times
Confining residents into small apartments during the global COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted well-being. City apartments lacking community connectivity and connection to nature negatively impacted welfare during the lockdown. Where social distancing has limited social interactions, high anxiety and stress has occurred, with many people feeling isolated in high-density areas. This results in the question; how can we form medium-density housing within the city that improves well-being through social and ecological connections, whilst adhering to social distancing regulations?
This thesis argues that incorporating sustainability, understood through social, economic, and ecological pillars, into architectural design can create positive well-being impacts, mitigating negative consequences of social distancing. Addressing the economic pillar of sustainability with the design of medium-density housing, this research investigates how residential-scale design implementations can mitigate issues relating to social isolation, by means of inducing community connections as well as how architectural applications can develop environmental connections.
This investigation will use participatory design methods during two focus groups to create a design framework through which iteration using a goal-based experimental design research method will be assessed. A literature review will form a toolbox of solutions, providing opportunity to experiment with various solutions and assess using the design framework.
This research provides the opportunity for the discipline to understand how social cohesion and well-being are interrelatedand the effect spatial arrangement has on well-being, through elements such as community and environmental relations.