Interview with Tom Emerson, renowned architect. 

In a period of such uncertainty , Emerson raises the prevalent issues arising from Covid-19, as well as his insightful perspective on the future of architecture.

Covid-19 is having an unarguable impact on businesses, for example Holborn-based ‘6a’ architecture firm. Emerson admits that this sudden shift into teleworking was “challenging, yet there was a certain exhilaration created through the premises of this new situation”.

When questioned as to what kept him motivated through lockdown, Emerson reveals the reality of not just adrenaline, but the “looming presence of financial disaster". The sudden threat of existence for his profession urged him to “persevere with tasks and deadlines". 

When queried on the future of buildings, Emerson explained the “possibilities of more green space” as nature - having acted as an outlet for many during lockdown - has been re-established as “essential to society”. Interestingly, he also predicts “a lack of office construction as more people realise the value and convenience that comes from working at home.” 

However, Emerson adds that this is debatable. Crispin Kelly, his close colleague, believes that “the moment public health resumes to normal, so will basic human habits; therefore architecture will not change.” “To believe that a temporary virus will have such a large impact on the architectural industry is a wild exaggeration.”

As I sit opposite Emerson’s masked face, sketched designs hanging behind, he finishes on the astute note that 2020 will “undoubtedly bear irreversible changes, yet is a year we can grow from.”