City College of New York
Ed Yong, in We Contain Multitudes declared: “Through microbes, we find unity with our fellow creatures, despite our incredibly different lives.” It is important that we design with many natures, even the ones we cannot see. With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, microbes have revealed themselves to be resilient, adaptable, and an indivisible part of ourselves and our global system. Through COVID-19, we can understand our scalar systems and our deep ties to each other. Now is the time to examine and appreciate these invisible influences. We are connected and impacted by single-celled organisms in more ways than we can ever know. The following project is a design response to COVID-19 informed by an in-depth exploration of microbial presence in the city through mapping and technical drawings of microbial processes. As urbanization continues to accelerate viral mutation and transmission, public spaces will need to adapt alongside changing social conditions. This "Quorum Canopy" brings us together safely in times of contagion, but at all times its shadows and shafts of light animate the city.