Tom Lindblom - Gensler | Jury Statement _ Pandemic Architecture International Ideas Competition

Pandemic Architecture Competition attempts to open up a dialogue and create a think tank, looking for ideas from the architectural and design community about the future of the living, the workspace, the public space and the tourism industry. 

Why do you support this competition? 

We need clear thinking and quick responses to address the current situation. 
Successful design requires Ingenuity, Determination and Decisiveness.

Why do you believe this is the correct timing for a such a competition to take place?

We have waited long enough!  It is difficult to separate the current pandemic from other critical issues affecting the world’s imbalance – climate change, economic inequality and right-wing populism are fundamental factors that can be addressed in the competition as part of the response to the pandemic. 

What are you experiencing in your country due to covid-19?

I currently live and work for Gensler in Costa Rica. There are few confirmed cases, but a lot of concern.  Tourism and exports drive the majority of the economy so there is a basic concern for self-preservation.
Lots of “gallows” humour.
I think the best question right now is “What are the opportunities for meaningful change”.

What is your opinion regarding the pandemic reality we are experiencing?

Binary – 0’s and 1’s.   ZERO – Is it an over-reaction?  Baby-boomers making decisions based on self-interest.  or ONE – The last ten years, since the last financial crash, have totally destabilized society and we are now forced to deal with multiple overlapping and life-threatening issues 

“Put Theory and Practice together for real solutions and new directions.  We can’t wait until 2030 or 2050.”
— Tom Lindblom, Gensler


What are you expecting from the participants?

Creativity in the service of something larger than our usual design practice. Brand – what are the images and messages that reflect the potential new realities and challenges; ie Soviet Constructivism, WW II Posters. What are the new skills required to cope and thrive in the world with many new potential new realities? 
The exportation of fundamental topics – Education; Agriculture; Life-Sciences; Spirituality and Community; Urbanism and our relationship with the natural world.
What role does spectacle (sports, theatre, cinema, festivals) play in the future?

Is there anything you would like to point out regarding the criteria of the competition? 

Firstly, aim high. Secondly, put Theory and Practice together for real solutions and new directions.  We can’t wait until 2030 or 2050.

About Tom Lindblom – Gensler
Tom is a Lifestyle Sector leader for Gensler’s Latin American region.  As a hospitality leader for the design firm, he transitioned full-time to Gensler’s Costa Rica office from the London office to support the dynamic tourism market in LATAM.   He has more than 25 years of experience on a variety of projects, with a special focus on hotels, resorts, mixed-use and museums. Working with diverse clients in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the United States has broadened his understanding and appreciation for unique opportunities in a variety of markets. Tom is active with clients to develop sustainable hotels and resorts that operate efficiently from an economic, social and environmental position. His experience also includes design and planning for several museums and galleries in the United States and Europe. Tom holds a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Utah and an undergraduate degree in the History of Science and Technology from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.


Pandemic Architecture is an International Ideas Competition curated by the Design Ambassador for

Extraordinary times” require extraordinary design.
What Can Architecture Do for our Health?

As the world faces new globalized health threats, there is a need to design the home/ the city of tomorrow, living in times whereas pandemics and viruses will be part of our everyday life. 

By designing for the needs of a pandemic reality, architects act as guarantors and guardians of the Public Health of a community.  
Virus outbreaks have their impact on urban space as well as on the living of millions of people.

When millions of people are isolated and working from home, what features should a home have?
When people can’t travel, what is the role of the hotels?
When crowds are not allowed at public spaces, how cities and public spaces change?
In terms of health centres and interior design, what are the hygienic architectural details of the pandemic reality? 

Find more here!