University College London/ETHNO-ISS (NASA)
Since March 2020, many employees around the world have been forced to work from home due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have experience in working in isolation and confinement. This paper focuses on a comparison of astronauts on the ISS and Earth-bound architects and interior designers restricted to working from home (i.e. their sofas) due to the pandemic. Isolation at work emerges as a complex phenomenon characterized by the measured and perceived distances between physical, social, and temporal spaces. By examining the scale-making activities of NASA and HKS, analogs provide a possible means for studying and predicting the complex dimensions of isolation. The work ecosystem is a useful tool in conceptualizing and operationalizing the employee experience to design the future of work and workspaces.
Article citation: 2020 EPIC Proceedings pp 338–355, ISSN 1559-8918, https://www.epicpeople.org/epic
PechaKucha Presentation—‘Postcards from Isolation’ is a collection of collaborative & interactive experiences that represent the shifts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The origins of the project lie in a reflection on the deeper social, cultural and economical impact of being in isolation. Drawing on ethnographic accounts (Malinowski, Mead), we studied how the context of being isolated these days corresponds to the uniqueness of geographical islands - spaces that enforce a different connection to land and its resources; and ones that lead to unique cultural patterns. Drawing on that metaphor, we explored to what extent we, as individuals, may be evolving into symbolic islands of our own, driven by similar powers, at a scale unlike before. What can we learn from that? How can we visualise these shifts for others to remember?
The nonprofit project was self-initiated by a group of cross disciplinary HCD colleagues. The website (isolation.is) currently holds 15 Postcards that represent shifts...