Daily tous les jours calls for environmental transformation with new research paper
Daily tous les jours, a Montreal art and design studio, released a research paper entitled “Better Together: Reflections for Pandemic Times” that invites people to play a critical role in the transformation of environments.
“The pandemic is a prequel to a lot of challenges that humanity will eventually have to face in terms of climate change, inequality, over-population, and more,” said Mouna Andraos, a co-founder of Daily tous les jours, along with Melissa Mongiat. “It’s an opportunity to reflect on the bigger picture by saying ‘ok, it’s time to move in a cohesive manner’.”
For Daily tous les jours, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it the gut-wrenching realization that many of the studio’s projects now fell on the wrong side of new social distancing measures.
According to the studio, most of the world’s initial studies emerged as dystopic portrayals of touchless societies and an end to public gatherings as we know them.
What began as a therapeutic self-examination soon evolved into a research project, driven by a sense of duty to keep collective experience planning on urban agendas.
In addition to monitoring global events, Daily tous les jours kept their fingers on the pulse of current collaborators and stakeholders on all sides of the public space debate. As theaters, concert promoters, and other business interests emerge in search of new models for a new reality, their research also recognizes the importance of positive economic effects as part of any solution.
“After being inundated in recent months with what we need to do, and what we can’t touch, the more we advanced with our research, the less grim it all began to feel,” said Mongiat. “We are social beings who will continue to gather, and this pandemic can pave the way to us gathering in even more meaningful and profound ways than before.”
Daily tous les jours presents their research in the form of a guidebook, and as a work in progress aimed at expanding the dialogue within the circles of decision-makers at all levels.
The research proposes new ways to infuse enchantment into urban experiences and features the important role played by artists and designers in the creation of human-scale experiences in public spaces. It also highlights how the emergence of a global pandemic can be converted into opportunities for creating more equal, more accessible, and more joyful projects.
Divided into three parts (State of Human Connection, Urban Principles for Planning Ahead, Future of Collective Experiences), Daily tous les jours’ research examines a broad array of social, economic, and climate-related issues that can inspire new urban principles and energize city visions of future collective experiences.
“If significant change is going to come in the aftermath of this pandemic, then its important to ensure that the change encompasses the entirety of how we want to live, and not just questions of public health or economic recovery,” said Andraos. “As designers and artists, we felt that it was critically important for us to examine the larger context of how our own work should evolve.”
Among the key findings, the researchers found overwhelming evidence suggesting that the pandemic has emphasized the importance of informal social networks during times of crisis.
Having a support group of neighbours around us has taken on greater significance as a way of dealing with some of the side effects of an all-encompassing crisis.
“What we’re seeing is that private spaces, like front yards and porches, are becoming a little bit more public, while public spaces are becoming a little bit more personable,” said Mongiat. “A healthy city requires healthy collaboration between its inhabitants, and we’re beginning to see profound change happening in the programming stages as well.”