A Design History of the COVID-19 Virus


The Covid-19 crisis and the designed interventions we have catalogued in this book appear to prove definitively that design does care. We have

documented this as it evolved every day from the 1 January 2020 to 31 May 2020 inclusive. What the Covid-19 pandemic has illustrated is that for the first time in modern history capital was totally irrelevant. Money could not save your life. Only design could. Rapidly designed masks, shelters, hospitals, instructional posters, infographics, dashboards, respirators, sanitisers, virtual and local communities emerged to save us. From January 2020, design became king.

The Covid-19 global pandemic presented an ontological reality; design is more than margins or profit. In fact, design became extremely valuable when it stopped concentrating on those things and started to care about peoples’ lives. This brief episode in history is repositioning the status of design and reconfiguring its signifier from consumption to care.

The Interactive Timeline of the Design History of the COVID-19 Virus can be accessed here, where you can submit your design intervention.