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Interview with Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, and David J. Lewis of LTL Architects
Joy Knoblauch & Sara Stevens
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In August 2020, Paul Lewis, Guy Nordenson, David J. Lewis, and Marc Tsurumaki published online in Issuu The Manual of Physical Distancing. In it, they and their team compiled a set of their own graphic interpretations of the latest scientific research on COVID-19 that translated the dense science into a more understandable, nuanced, and spatialized form using architectural drawing conventions. The drawings employ line weights, dimensions, color, plans, elevations, and axonometric views to spaces ranging in scale from the classroom to the urban block. The main authors of The Manual are all university professors; three of the four are also the principals of LTL Architects; the fourth, a structural engineer and principal of Guy Nordenson and Associates. The work bridged their different roles as researchers in the university and practitioners running an office. In the following, Sara Stevens and Joy Knoblauch interview Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, and David J. Lewis about how The Manual came to be, what influenced their work in it, and how they imagined it would influence public discourse around COVID-19, and the role architects can play in a public health crisis.

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