|Name:||Samuel Samin, Samiya Rahman Khan, Johaer Mahtab Labib, Mahira Hossain Moury|
|Studio:||Level 1, Term 2|
|Studio Master:||Ar. Tasnuva Sarwat, Ar. Mozammel Hossain|
|University:||North South University|
Project: Take Measure | Design | Covid-19 Mobile Testing Station
[Note from Architect Tasnuva Sarwat | Faculty, Department of architecture, North South University]
The COVID-19 global pandemic has brought the world to a standstill, and its effects and consequences are being felt by every citizen in every country, most acutely in resource-scarce regions like Bangladesh. The country lacks the necessary facility that is crucial in determining the nation’s position on the infection curve. Is Bangladesh in an upward trajectory towards the peak, at the peak right now or are we flattening the curve? To find answers, an increase in mass testing is imperative to fill the information gap in order to assess where the disease is emerging and spreading.
Considering the dangerous infectious nature of this virus, lack of resources and insufficient data, students of Level 1, Term 2 were assigned with the task of taking measures and designing mobile testing stations that aim to assist the general public with virus symptoms. Using principles of design thinking and analysis, the students proposed and considered innovative solutions to address one of the most significant challenges faced by the global pandemic around the world. From an array of several submissions by the students, four projects stand out in terms of fulfilling design criteria and methods of implementation. Mass production and placement of these stations in various locations around the city and rural areas would allow people with symptoms to get the testing done in a cost-effective way and under safe conditions.
The designs of the testing stations by students offer a rapid building solution that is realized by addressing the immediate needs of the current crisis. It separates front-line workers from the local population and gives them much needed confidence. The stand-alone stations or booths consist of components that are easy to transport and assemble in the location sites. Readily available materials are used to create such components to avoid all sorts of import impediments. These simple, portable and easy to install testing stations will allow for mass assessment to take place in localities where such testing is currently unavailable. Moreover, people with symptoms will not be required to travel a long distance to avail the facility for necessary testing. Consequently, these portable stations shall reduce the existing burden on hospitals around the country. Countries such as Canada, the UK, Spain and South Korea are designing and implementing rapidly installable testing stations to make them accessible to the general public and to minimize pressure on their hospitals.
It is worthwhile to mention that during this countrywide shutdown, as design studios moved to online learning and interaction, this entire project was completed through discussion and feedback between the students and the faculty using a virtual medium. Although the students missed the classroom learning environment, there was no dearth of eagerness and enthusiasm amongst them to think and bring forth out of the box solutions.