How These Top Creatives are Coping with COVID-19

Emilee Geist

Sir David Adjaye

Accra, Ghana

The pandemic happened to co-incide with the one-year anniversary of my return home to Accra. In many ways, being here in the midst of this global crisis has furthered my process of rediscovery into Ghana’s past and its narratives—both biographical and national—that have inspired my work on the continent and abroad. I chose to take this photograph in Black Star Square because it is not just a symbol or historical ode to the past but a beacon that will speak to a vibrant future as Accra’s infrastructure and cultural fabric continue to evolve.”

<div class="caption"> Emily Ward, Los Angeles </div> <cite class="credit">Carmen-Jean Cluttey</cite>

Emily Ward, Los Angeles

Carmen-Jean Cluttey

Emily Ward

Los Angeles

“My family and I have embraced the chaos of what has become our makeshift playroom, off the kitchen. This pandemic has reminded me that there is nothing more beautiful than function—messy, lived-in, realistic function.”

<div class="caption"> David Cafiero, Manhattan </div> <cite class="credit">Matthew Sandager</cite>

David Cafiero, Manhattan

Matthew Sandager

David Cafiero

Manhattan

“I live above my shop, which is also my office. We’ve been experiencing a lot of online traffic these past few weeks, but I do hope we can still maintain the charm of an actual in-shop experience. Moving forward, that will be more important than ever. The need to connect will never diminish.”

<div class="caption"> Vincent Van Duysen, Antwerp </div> <cite class="credit">Mateo Bou</cite>

Vincent Van Duysen, Antwerp

Mateo Bou

Vincent Van Duysen

Antwerp

“Recent global events represent a loud wake-up call. What was once a collective and mundane social life, characterized by interaction with others, is now confinement with oneself. But restraint is not always detrimental. This is the time to be connected with our inner selves.”

<div class="caption"> Fernando Caruncho, Madrid </div> <cite class="credit">Fernando Caruncho</cite>

Fernando Caruncho, Madrid

Fernando Caruncho

Fernando Caruncho

Madrid

“The 21st century will be the century of the garden, a return to nature. That is what this pandemic is clearly telling us, as the environment recovers. We have to make an absolutely radical change in terms of our relationship with Mother Nature.”

<div class="caption"> Vicky Charles, Upstate New York </div>

Vicky Charles, Upstate New York

<div class="caption"> Charles de Lisle, Sonoma </div> <cite class="credit">Ralph Dennis</cite>

Charles de Lisle, Sonoma

Ralph Dennis

Vicky Charles

Upstate New York

“After putting a lock on my bathroom door, I’ve been working fully dressed from the tub. It’s the only space to have peace, to focus, and to take client calls without my children around.”

Charles de Lisle

Sonoma, California

“The slowdown has allowed our office to step back a bit and take stock of what’s important in our work. All of a sudden, certain things that used to seem trivial were now incredibly meaningful.”

<div class="caption"> Pierre Yovanovitch, Provence </div> <cite class="credit">Pierre Yovanovitch</cite>

Pierre Yovanovitch, Provence

Pierre Yovanovitch

Pierre Yovanovitch

Provence

“I try to look at the silver lining and see this as an opportunity for a creative reset, taking a pause from our overly scheduled lives to tap back into what inspires us.”

<div class="caption"> Kulapat Yantrasast, Los Angeles </div> <cite class="credit">Kulapat Yantrasast</cite>

Kulapat Yantrasast, Los Angeles

Kulapat Yantrasast

Kulapat Yantrasast

Los Angeles

“Although we are physically distant at the moment, as social animals we are longing for company and hoping for empathy. The pandemic has challenged designers to find new ways of fostering human connection.”

<div class="caption"> Olivier Marty & Karl Fournier, Corscia </div> <cite class="credit">Karl Fournier</cite>

Olivier Marty & Karl Fournier, Corscia

Karl Fournier

Olivier Marty & Karl Fournier

Corsica

“With our three-and-a-half-year-old, we have no time to stress—we are playing, teaching, cooking, all while teleworking with our teams. We have organized our spaces a little bit differently, but decorating is not exactly the term. A guest room became our office. Another one is dedicated to sport. Another one to our psychiatrist sessions.”

<div class="caption"> Robert Kime, London </div> <cite class="credit">Simon Upton</cite>

Robert Kime, London

Simon Upton

Robert Kime

London

“For me, design has always been about comfort, ease, and safety. I imagine we will carry on in 
that way. And more people will look for that meaning too.”

<div class="caption"> Richard Gluckman, Long Island </div> <cite class="credit">Richard Gluckman</cite>

Richard Gluckman, Long Island

Richard Gluckman

Richard Gluckman

Long Island, New York

“This has been the longest uninterrupted amount of time I’ve spent in the house that I built 20 years ago, and the coldest, wettest, windiest spring I’ve ever experienced. I will value it forever. Nature has evened out the rough spots.”

<div class="caption"> Louisa Pierce, Florida </div> <cite class="credit">Matt Romano</cite>

Louisa Pierce, Florida

Matt Romano

Louisa Pierce

Florida

“When I’m daydreaming, on bike rides in nature, is when my creative mind really kicks in. I used to feel like I knew what the future held, but now? Who knows!”

<div class="caption"> Tom Kundig, Seattle </div> <cite class="credit">Olson Kundig</cite>

Tom Kundig, Seattle

Olson Kundig

Tom Kundig

Seattle

“People are reengaging with their living space and relearning what home means. We’ll see design push beyond style to deliberately foster those feelings of safety and comfort much more.”

<div class="caption"> Jamie Bush, Long Island </div> <cite class="credit">Jorell Blanco</cite>

Jamie Bush, Long Island

Jorell Blanco

<div class="caption"> Oliver Furth, Los Angeles </div> <cite class="credit">Sean Yashar</cite>

Oliver Furth, Los Angeles

Sean Yashar

Jamie Bush

Long Island, New York

“We started a new job in San Francisco without ever meeting the clients in person or going to the house. It’s not ideal, but we’re making it work. This is the new reality.”

Oliver M. Furth

Los Angeles

“For years, our industry has been gradually headed toward a new way of operating, but I still don’t think we’ve evolved much since the advent of the internet. Maybe this is the push we needed to propel us into the 21st century.”

<div class="caption"> Francis Sultana, London </div> <cite class="credit">Francis Sultana</cite>

Francis Sultana, London

Francis Sultana

Francis Sultana

London

“I have elevated my blue salon into the perfect work space, which has kept the passion and drive flowing! Coming out of this stronger, I will have restored my balance of life.”

<div class="caption"> Miranda Brooks, Gloucestershire </div> <cite class="credit">Bastien Halard</cite>

Miranda Brooks, Gloucestershire

Bastien Halard

Miranda Brooks

Gloucestershire

“We have spent this time on our own building site, rather than other people’s. The slow transition from rubble to garden has followed a definite shift in thinking. I want simplicity—could three plant species create more feeling than twelve? There has been a definite letting go.”

<div class="caption"> Brian Sawyer, Long Island </div>

Brian Sawyer, Long Island

<div class="caption"> Ariel Ashe, Marth'as Vineyard </div>

Ariel Ashe, Marth’as Vineyard

Brian Sawyer

Long Island

“In landscape design, the crisis has engendered a heightened understanding of the significance and consequences of ecology. In house design, there’s a finer appreciation of the crucial relationship between building and site. And in interior design, I sense a renewed awareness of domestic pleasure and beauty for the sake of it.”

Ariel Ashe

Martha’s Vineyard

“I get comfort from taking walks, planning meals—not cooking them, my husband does that—and playing with my daughter. Every morning we walk through the woods and visit friends, from a safe distance. That’s a luxury and privilege. I don’t like the notion of finding a silver lining in any of this, because people are suffering sickness and loss like I never could imagine. But if I had to find one, I’d say my appreciation and gratitude for small things has grown immensely. Flowers left by a neighbor. Fresh air. Buying a sandwich that I didn’t have to make.”

<div class="caption"> Barbara Bestor, Los Angeles </div> <cite class="credit">Tom Stern</cite>

Barbara Bestor, Los Angeles

Tom Stern

Barbara Bestor

Los Angeles

“Creatively, I find I have a lot more time to draw by hand and think through details in a way I have not done since graduate school. It is a happy affirmation that my profession is also a creative release.” Pictured are Bestor and her daughter Charlotte Silverman working in Charlotte’s makeshift silk-screening studio, set up in Bestor Architecture’s cleared-out model shop.

<div class="caption"> Emiliano Salci, Milan </div>

Emiliano Salci, Milan

Emiliano Salci

Milan

“After lockdown, unpretentious elegance and timelessness will become paramount—styles that are less fleeting, less trivial and fussy.”

<div class="caption"> Sharon Johnston, Los Angeles </div> <cite class="credit">Sharon Johnston</cite>

Sharon Johnston, Los Angeles

Sharon Johnston

Sharon Johnston

Los Angeles

“In the relatively short period that we have been in quarantine we have seen a host of projects change direction and refocus towards opportunities that embrace temporality, highlight flexibility, and put community at the center of their mission.”

<div class="caption"> Martin Brudnizki, London </div> <cite class="credit">Martin Brudnizki</cite>

Martin Brudnizki, London

Martin Brudnizki

Martin Brudnizki

London

“Design requires human contact, whether for inspiration or collaboration. We will start to appreciate what we have more—in nature and in each other.”

<div class="caption"> Rose Uniacke, London </div>

Rose Uniacke, London

<div class="caption"> Rose Uniacke, London </div> <cite class="credit">Rose Uniacke</cite>

Rose Uniacke, London

Rose Uniacke

Rose Uniacke

London

“I am fortunate to be quite a homebody, so the change of pace has been unexpectedly productive—listening to music, drawing, working, cooking, sewing. I made a new skirt with one of the new Rose Uniacke pale pink wools. We have been encouraged to focus on the simpler essential needs of life and that has been a powerful call to reduce in lots of different ways. Of course we know that beauty and pleasure and good design don’t have to be complex, but it is good to be reminded.”

<div class="caption"> Laura Sartori Rimini and Roberto Peregalli, Milan </div>

Laura Sartori Rimini and Roberto Peregalli, Milan

<div class="caption"> Toshiko Mori, Manhattan </div> <cite class="credit">Toshiko Mori</cite>

Toshiko Mori, Manhattan

Toshiko Mori

Laura Sartori Rimini and Roberto Peregalli

Milan

“Regarding the future effects of this pandemic, on one hand it has been recognized the importance of the house as a center, a place of the soul in people’s life. On the other hand, the inevitable economic impact that will follow this situation will, we hope, generate among people the idea that the house isn’t just an object that follows the trends to be discarded and replaced for the next upcoming thing. You should aim for an object of beauty, made to withstand the proof of time.”

Toshiko Mori

Manhattan

“Living in New York City during a pandemic convinced me that we need to mutually protect each other and that for communities and cities to survive into the future we have to consider equity as essential qualities of urban life. We depend on each other and we will come out of it together. Design post pandemic needs to focus on essentials, universal values, and equities. We need to give more space to each other and more time options so we can start to breathe back into life.”

<div class="caption"> Richard Petit, Los Angeles </div> <cite class="credit">Richard Petit</cite>

Richard Petit, Los Angeles

Richard Petit

Richard Petit

Los Angeles

“Author Erri de Luca, producer Paola Porrini Bisson, and director Michael Mayer invited writers, journalists, poets, and actors from all over the world to share a compassionate vision of our collective human experience during the pandemic. The project was inspired by Giovannni Boccaccio’s The Decameron, a 14th-century collection of stories written in response to the black death sweeping across Europe. As a backdrop to each new story and performance, I created a unique digital collage incorporating elements of 14th- and 20th-century art by painters with a close relationship to Florence.” Pictured is Petit with one of his digital backdrops.

<div class="caption"> Virginia Tupker, Connecticut </div>

Virginia Tupker, Connecticut

<div class="caption"> Rafael de Cárdenas, Brooklyn </div> <cite class="credit">Rafael de Cárdenas</cite>

Rafael de Cárdenas, Brooklyn

Rafael de Cárdenas

Virginia Tupker

Connecticut

“The little stream that meanders through our woods has been a godsend. I’ve spent time cutting back the brambles so that my children would have a clear area to play in. We have marvelled at the amazing wildlife here—the deer visits at breakfast, a wild turkey, and a not so elusive fox who likes to prowl just around suppertime. Meanwhile, I’ve been turning to my library for inspiration. My home office has practically become a tile, stone, and flooring showroom, with all the samples we call in for clients and then ship out as curated packages to their homes.

Rafael de Cárdenas

Brooklyn

“These arrangements are essentially weeds, the plants we do our best to kill. Emily Thompson, an old friend, foraged them during the quar and I picked them up from  her house, where she is creating a meadow-like garden, which I tried to recreate on my dining table, my own lab of sorts. We had many discussions on how to display them—many with their roots and all in these gorgeous, hand-blown vessels. Emily directed my attention to beauty where I wasn’t looking for it.”

<div class="caption"> Deborah Berke, Long Island </div> <cite class="credit">Deborah Berke</cite>

Deborah Berke, Long Island

Deborah Berke

Deborah Berke

Long Island

“Spending the last few months largely indoors has been a revealing experience for me as an architect but also as a human being. I found myself rearranging things often. Moving a chair around the room throughout the day to get a different view outside, particularly of the sky. Seeing the changing light and the varying greens of the trees has a great calming effect. It makes me feel connected to nature even when I am indoors. My daughter returned from graduate school and brought her houseplants with her—she knew she would be here for a while and she enjoys them. We’ve had a similar experience with the plants, following the light in the house throughout the day and moving the plants to the places where they will thrive. Taking the time to watch them in this environment is a kind of investment in the future. We’re nurturing them and each other.”

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest

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