The Covid-19 pandemic has had a dramatic and continuous impact on the world. Lockdowns have become mandatory in most countries, and people suddenly feel imprisoned in their own houses. Many rethink their house spaces and design after spending long days and months in their homes with no other place to go. Although architecture is at the forefront of this issue, it proved that it is vital and significant in shaping the health and well-being of house residents. A well-designed house can help with the physical health of its residents and their mental health as well. This paper examines the problems and issues Kuwaiti families have encountered during the lockdown periods in their homes, showing the new needs that the pandemic implied in how architects should approach residential design in the post-pandemic era. Twenty-eight graduating students in my Working Drawings class in the Fall of 2021 were asked to participate in a class discussion about the main shortcomings of their houses that they experienced during the pandemic lockdowns. I gave them typical Kuwait house floor plans and asked them to identify the new needs for a better and more resilient Kuwaiti house. This study explains and expands the students’ responses to reach new design methods and solutions that would successfully meet the newfound needs of a typical Kuwaiti house. The outcomes demonstrate how a house can be adaptable and resilient to a global pandemic, adequately satisfying the family’s new needs and maintaining their well-being.
Assistant Professor, Architecture, Kuwait University, Kuwait
Kuwaiti typical house, Post-pandemic needs