Paola Antonelli MoMA design curator and design critic Alice Rawsthorn have launched Design Emergency to explore the role of design in the Covid-19 crisis. In the first @design.emergency conversation, Antonelli talked with Michael Murphy, co-founder of MASS Design Group.
Murphy has extensive experience in designing health care systems in vulnerable places, so he had a lot to share on the role of design and architecture. He talked about how the spatial world affects our daily lives. “It affects our ability to live healthy lives, affects our environment, our communities.” – he explains.

In a pandemic context where spaces such as hospitals, restaurants or parks can prevent us from getting sick or put ourselves in a higher risk, this becomes more evident.


It is no news that air pollution impacts people’s health. The pandemic, however, has accelerated concerns regarding air quality. Breathing can be defined as a spatial issue. “ The air around us is as much defined by our ability to get outside and get fresh air, as well as it is the air inside the facilities we are inhabiting. The air defines whether spaces are clean and healthy. ” – says Murphy

All these insights took us back to BROKEN NATURE, an exhibition we visited in 2019 at the Triennale di Milan. The exhibit demonstrated how design and architecture can regenerate the world around us and deal with global issues. Woobi Play mask created by Kilo Design was one of the projects that called our attention. This mask aims to protect more than 300 million kids living in areas with high levels of pollution*.

We love the project purpose and design, but we couldn’t predict that so soon we all would need a mask. Dirty air has proven to worsen the heart and lung risk factors for Covid-19, and once again we conclude that in the end, it is all about taking care of our planet, isn’t it?!

📷 credit: @kilodesigncph 

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