Of all the places that weren’t designed to handle a pandemic, schools may be among the worst. Small classrooms packed with dozens of young people can be swimming with viral droplets. Unable to adapt, schools around the world were forced to send their students home. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
“There have been so many schools that have had a lot of problems because they simply couldn’t open the windows, or they could only have five people in one space. Stupid things,” says architect Rosan Bosch, a specialist in school design. Her Copenhagen-based firm, Rosan Bosch Studio, has designed schools throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, and she’s seen how traditional school design can pose problems for health as well as learning. Bosch says educational institutions can be reimagined to adapt to the conditions a pandemic presents.