A Message to Our Readers


6 April 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, Disegno’s staff wanted to take the opportunity to extend their warmest wishes to everyone affected by COVID-19, to let all of our readers know the journal’s plans for the immediate future, and share some key resources for the challenging times ahead.

Disegno is following all official advice surrounding public health, and will continue to adapt our approach as the situation evolves. Daily updates to the website, as well as the publication schedule of the journal have not been affected.

The next two issues of the quarterly journal will be published in April and June 2020. Meanwhile, our online shop remains open, and subscription and individual issue purchases will be fulfilled as normal. Public Health England has advised that receiving letters and parcels does not involve any risk of contracting coronavirus.

As it stands, Disegno has postponed all of its public events until further notice. Throughout the upcoming period, Disegno’s priority is the health and wellbeing of its staff, journalists, photographers, and readers. As such, the journal is taking all relevant precautions to make sure that all of our contributors can do their jobs safely, and that our annual schedule of public events is postponed until it is safe to resume.

We realise that this is a challenging time, and want to extend our positive wishes to everyone. As part of this, we’ve compiled an online list of useful resources during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as initiatives through which you can support your community over the months ahead. This list is currently focused on the United Kingdom, where Disegno is based.


General info
• Official National Health Service (NHS) advice can be found here.
• The UK government's advice can be found here.
• Advice for UK businesses and employers, including how to apply for financial support, can be found here.
• Official World Health Organization (WHO) information can be found here.

For designers
• Bompas & Parr has invited the design community to re-imagine the hand sanitiser, with proceeds going to the British Red Cross. Read more about how to enter here.
• The London-based private biotech labs Open Cell have put out a call to researchers and designers as part of a project aimed at increasing the testing capacity for Covid-19. Read more about the project here.
• The Global Grad Show in Dubai has put out a call to "graduates, undergraduates and professors from all disciplines, academic institutions and countries to submit solutions to the collateral issues of Covid-19". Find out more here.
• NHSX, the branch of the NHS responsible for tech innovation, has launched a competition for designers to propose ways in which technology could help support the vulnerable, elderly and self-isolating. Find out more here.
• The United Nations has put out a call to creatives to help communicate its key messages around Covid-19. Find out how to apply here.
• An open-source pattern for scrubs has been made available for free download. Scrubs have been cited as one piece of PPE that is currently in low supply in the UK>
Scrub Hub is a network of voluntary community groups seeking to remedy the PPE shortage by establishing community garment making hubs.
• Designers Holly Fulton, Bethany Williams and Phoebe English have launched the Emergency Designers Network, an initiative that aims to stimulate local production of key garments for hospital works. Find more information here

For students
• Adobe has made its Creative Cloud tools available for free until 31 May for schools affected by the pandemic. Find out how to request access here.
• The Global Grad Show in Dubai has put out a call to "graduates, undergraduates and professors from all disciplines, academic institutions and countries to submit solutions to the collateral issues of Covid-19". Find out more here.
• The United Nations has put out a call to creatives to help communicate its key messages around Covid-19. Find out how to apply here.
• Harvard University has made over 60 of its online courses free. You can take a 10-week course, for example on 'The Architectural Imagination', or immerse yourself in an 'Introduction to Game Development'.

For manufacturers
• The UK government has put out a call for manufacturers to help make ventilators. Read more here.

For museum professionals
• Conservation departments in Dutch museums have been donating their supplies of face masks and protective gloves to frontline medical staff. Consider whether your workplace might be able to do the same.

• Join a Mutual Aid Group. Find your local one here.
• Become a NHS England Volunteer Responder.
• Councils are also beginning to launch their own care and emergency aid efforts. Contact your local council to see how you can help your most vulnerable neighbours.
• Please consider donating to your local food bank.
• If you live in the US, have had Covid-19, and are now fully recovered, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases is asking you to donate blood. This is important in helping scientists find out how people's immune systems respond to the disease.

This list will be updated daily as the situation continues to unfold.

If you have any calls or volunteering opportunities you'd like us to promote, please contact our editorial team.

We also realise that the months ahead are likely to see many of our readers forced to self-isolate, quarantine, or otherwise enter a period of confinement while they care for their loved ones. To help this time pass a little easier, we’ve opened our archives and made digital versions of our entire back catalogue free to download, and compiled a list of some of the best pieces of long-form journalism created by our award-winning contributors in recent years.

1) Big Panda Energy by Kristina Rapacki and Alastair Philip Wiper
A glimpse of panda diplomacy in action with BIG’s new enclosure for Copenhagen Zoo.

2) The Robotics of Modern Parenting by Michael David Mitchell and María Ramos Bravo
Questions surrounding robotic parenting prompted by Yves Béhar’s Snoo bassinet.

3) Don’t Cross the Streams by Oli Stratford and Ugo la Pietra
Netflix streaming and the future of content design.

4) Here Is the House by Joe Lloyd and Donald Milne
Carmody Groarke's chainmail life support unit for Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Hill House.

5) Design for Rural Mexico by Martha Pskowski and Carlos Álvarez Montero
An exploration of the potential of native corn for Mexican communities, led by Fernando Laposse.

6) A Recaptured Production by Peter Kapos and Matthew Williams
Gary Hustwit offers an early glimpse of his new documentary about Dieter Rams.

7) Precarious by Design by Kristina Rapacki and Cat Bluemke
The interface design of the on-demand economy under scrutiny with UberEATS.

8) Catholic Taste by Peter Smisek and Giulio Ghirardi
Soft power in the Vatican’s plans for cultural outreach at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

9) Ciudad Rebelde by Laurence Blair and Nick Ballón
Freddy Mamani and the New Andean Architecture of El Alto.

10) Design on the Fly by Oli Stratford and Jörg Koopmann
A refresh to Lufthansa’s design identity from PearsonLloyd.

11) Spiritual Reconstruction by Lemma Shehadi and Giles Price
A travelogue about spirituality’s role in the architectural reconstruction of the Kathmandu Valley.