Infectious Diseases and Home Design

When living through a pandemic it’s pretty easy to see how your behavior is modified at home and what changes need to be made to accomodate these needs. So while you may not be looking at, say, your kitchen’s floor or walls and thinking, “this design is a direct result of an earlier generation grappling with infectious diseases” you likely won’t be surprised to learn that is the case! From Architectural Digest:

Whether you realize it or not, a number of the design features in our homes today originated, or were popularized, because of previous infectious disease outbreaks, like the 1918 flu pandemic, tuberculosis, and dysentery. There is a very long, very interesting history of the intersection of health, architecture, and design going back to ancient times, but we’re going to skip ahead to the late 19th and early 20th centuries to focus on architectural and design features you could potentially find in your home today. Here are a few examples of home design elements tied to attempts to prevent or slow the spread of infectious disease.

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