Architect and WDCD alumnus Marko Brajovic has spent the last several weeks away from São Paulo, the bustling city which he calls home. The day the WHO declared the global COVID-19 global health crisis a pandemic, he and his family found themselves in their weekend forest house in Paraty, the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. They decided to stay. Together with his two kids and his wife’s mother, he’s now redesigning everyday life.

“With this new scenario of indeterminate time staying, we assume the serious situation and start organizing our living in isolation here, in a forest. Social distance even in a natural environment, as well as in urban, proposes new challenges in terms of logistics. So basically we need to redesign our everyday life far from urban facilities and infrastructures.

In this diary, I will tell you our everyday story, from our perception of reality and what we are learning day-by-day in this context.

I always believed design does not apply only to physical products but more to processes and organic system thinking, and in this very case that comes clear and operational. Design becomes all about relationships; with ourselves, family, neighbors, online office team, objects, weather, and all other species in our surroundings.

Community comes as fundamental in all scales, from local to global, off-grid from national and institutional top down systems. A genuine human interdependence and interconnectivity of information, goods, ideas, productivity, experiences, and love.

And finally, collaboration with non-humans.

Redesigning our solidarity with all species in simple everyday actions. What we eat, how we treat a plant, our relation with water, are decisions to be attuned with natural regenerative processes.

Everything is interconnected. I feel this same consciousness is rinsing in lots of humans around the globe, in urban, rural, or wilderness contexts, where localization becomes an essential off-grid survival mode.

None said it would be easy, but redesigning our every day becomes existential to overcome the unsustainable consultation system dependence, in these exceptional times we are living, an opportunity for evolution of our ecosystem.

Because it will not come back to normality, and that’s good. We have a chance to redesign how we work, learn, teach, cook, eat, train, heal, create, and relate to each other.

I collected some pictures of our adaptation to changing conditions in Aldeia Rizoma, an ecovillage we designed for our families and friends in Brasilian Atlantic Forest.”

Curious to hear Marko’s thoughts on what new normality could look like? The architect explores how we could live together in an opinion piece on our blog.


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