How To Go Virtual For Designers
Effective architecture and design requires an informed understanding of place and context. When the context is an indefinite period of self-isolation and social distancing, people look to designers to help address the numerous concerns brought about by this situation. Whether it be products designed to facilitate social distancing, or interior and landscape design to improve a home or office environment, designers are stepping up to provide aid during the ongoing pandemic.
While designers can help mitigate the struggles of COVID-19, they too need to navigate the difficult remote working environment it creates. New methods for spurring creativity, collaboration and learning are available and will undoubtedly serve any architect, landscaper, or interior designer willing to give them a try.
We suggest researching online job boards and resources dedicated to facilitating remote design and to check for updates and newly added opportunities often. If you already have an up and running interior design, landscaping, and/or architecture business, stay as active as possible in order to maintain an engaged clientele in what many of us understand to be a stagnated economy. Remember, the need for design and designers has not diminished, and the market for interior designers, furniture designers and architects still exists. Professional designers are hopeful, bringing attention to the fact that many people who have spent ample time isolated in their home/ property will want to invest their money in architecture and design in order to improve a living space that has become central to their life and well being. For example, designers will be tasked with finding ways to make living spaces more comfortable for relaxation and rejuvenation, while also being conducive to what is now a home office. As a result, public demand for innovative interior design strategies will likely increase. How can we soundproof our home office spaces? How can we make our public offices sanitary and socially distanced yet functional? What are our options for using limited space for optimal benefit and wellness?
From online meetings for discussion and idea sharing, to platforms specifically built to allow for real-time collaboration, there are multiple ways architects, designers, and businesses are evolving to continue their work remotely. If you are worried about your ability to learn new technologies or softwares, do not worry. Below, we will provide detailed step by step instructions for using Zoom, for hosting your own Zoom meeting, as well as for additional platforms and softwares that are being used for communication. These tools make it possible to maintain relationships with co-workers and clients when in-person meetings are not possible.
Collaborative teams have begun to host virtual discussions once or twice a day. Organized and scheduled daily calls can restore a vital part of the design process, from finding inspiration in the work of others to bouncing ideas back and forth. Bring some motivation to the start of a work day by hosting a morning meeting to set goals and to go over yesterday’s accomplishments. Holding a Zoom lunch break between collaborators can increase interpersonal connection and innovation. In addition, keep the creative, collaborative culture of the team strong during quarantine by having informal, non-mandatory daily timeframes for designers to jump onto a call if they want to take a break from solo work.
In order to stay up to date with the architecture and interior/ furniture design world, and to ensure a healthy and growing business, it is important that you maintain a thoughtful and curated social media presence. Find and follow design accounts similar to your own in order to build up your network. The key to having an effective social media presence is to post routinely and often. Register your instagram as a business, and use their business features to reach a broader audience. Be innovative with your posts, while keeping your target audience in mind. Do a house tour, an interior decorating tutorial, or a Q&A on Instagram, Facebook, or Youtube live.
What services can be helpful?
The Arts Oasis can be used to popularize your designs, products, and events. Artists can submit their own projects through our create a free listing page. You may also create listings after signing up for an account on Oasis. With an account you can also create an artist profile and update it regularly with new events and links to your personal websites. Please let us know if you launch a design or product and we will try and review it for our blog, Artsfeed.
Zoom offers the opportunity for teachers to hold lessons through video calls. At the start of the pandemic, Zoom quickly aligned itself with companies and universities. The platform offers multiple tools for flexible learning, including Break Out rooms, a Whiteboard, the ability to Record and Transcribe meetings, and so forth. The basic plan offers 40 min meetings for free.
The main conference platforms during the pandemic have been Skype, Google Meets, and Zoom. Online comparisons point to Zoom as being the best quality service because of its many tools while also having the easiest sharing capacities. Zoom hosts every type of event from lectures to collaborative meetings to viewing parties and more. Also, now that Zoom has announced that they are going to offer end to end encryption for all users (click here for more about that) this video platform is now safe for all types of gatherings. Here are some of the tips and tricks for using Zoom to its fullest capacity.
Decide if you want to set up a Meeting (discussion between the host and audience, free) or a Video Webinar (attendants just listen, paid).
Meetings have breakout rooms where participants can talk in smaller groups, large group discussion capacities, a chat, and more for lots of interaction. To set up a meeting, first open and sign into Zoom. Then, click the schedule icon and create your meeting from there. You can then share your meeting with a link.
Webinars have digital hand raising, a Q&A feature, and polling for some but limited interaction. To set up a webinar, you will have to have a paid subscription that includes a max number or participants you can have. sign into Zoom and hit webinars. Then, put in the information prompted. You can then choose if you want attendants to register or not. There are lots of settings for webinars, so find out more about the specifics here.
For the best internet, hardwire your connection straight into your wifi connection, or set up a place in your house with the best wifi.
Minimize background noise by being in a quiet place and come in 5 minutes before the meeting starts so you can welcome attendants.
You can broaden your reach by using Facebook Live, Facebook Workplace, and YouTube Live to stream your event as it is going on.
Use Zoom’s PayPal integration to charge attendants when they register for your webinar.
If you want to control who enters the meeting, use a waiting room and don't share your link publicly, unless you want anyone to join the audience. Also, use Set up your own two-factor authentication to use a meeting id and password instead of a link.
If it is going to be a public event, make sure you as the host know your controls. You can mute people, disable video, and more. If you don't want others sharing their screen, and to find the rest of the control, use the host controls at the bottom of your Zoom screen. Then, click the arrow next to Share Screen and then Advanced Sharing Options. Click here for more on safety.
Other good tips: make sure to take control of the meeting early by setting a clear tone and asking other participants to mute when they are not talking. Encourage others to share their video, and do a test before your big meet or event to make sure you are familiar with the controls of Zoom.
This list is inspired by the Zoom Covid-19 support page, which you can find here.
Collaboration platform for visual communication.
Three collections focused on design resources and tools.
Online handbook for working remotely during quarantine.
The Great Discontent is hosting remote potlucks for creatives.
A tool for editing and animating fonts.
Document created to help designers find remote work and resources.
Help for the Design Community: Resources During the Pandemic
Listing of various resources for designers during the pandemic.
Self Isolation Guide for Designers
Another list of resources for designers during the pandemic.
Resource for artists interested in creating a community with a monthly membership that grants access to exclusive content, tutorials, and resources
Covid-19 Freelance Artist Resource — Resources & Information for Freelance, Unaffiliated Artists in the US
Resources for information including financial support, artist surveys, mental health resources, and employment opportunities
Platform targeting architects and environmental designers to use XR and VR technology to collaborate
AR and VR platform that encourages companies to collaborate like never before in a virtual space. All fees have been waived for membership due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Where can I submit my work?
Interdisciplinary Remote & Remote-Friendly Employers (by Words of Mouth)
Resource for artists searching for other interdisciplinary employment
Resources for artists searching for creative employment in the advertising industry
Viral Art Project -- Call for Submissions
Call for PSA posters about the COVID-19 pandemic created by artists of all disciplines
Resource for creatives to find art calls and opportunities
Popular creative platform for selling your work
Creative platform for selling your work. Transform your art and designs into wall art, furniture, apparel and lifestyle products
Creative platform for selling your work. Transform your art and designs into lifestyle and apparel products