Despite construction’s return, SF’s home improvement industry languishes

Lynne M. Centeno


<p>Photo: Photocapy/<a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Flickr" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Flickr</a></p>

Photo: Photocapy/Flickr

As San Francisco hits the three-month mark of sheltering in place, residents have found plenty of new ways to pass the time — including working on projects around the house.

That’s mostly been good news for local hardware stores, which have seen an uptick in sales related to household projects. But for other small businesses in the home improvement industry, the shift has come at a cost.

Spring is normally the busiest season for Tom’s Painters, a team of Sunset District-based residential painters led by the sibling team of Tom and Maria da Silva. 

At the beginning of March, the company was working at full capacity. But when the mayor’s March 17 shelter-in-place order required non-essential businesses to shut down, work came to a halt. 

The company’s team of residential painters were used to stepping into people’s homes on a daily basis. But even

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“It’s hard to yearn for a return to pre-pandemic normal” says Design Earth

Lynne M. Centeno

El Hadi Jazairy and Rania Ghosn of collaborative architecture practice Design Earth discuss how to engage with the climate emergency in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in this interview with architecture writer Carson Chan, which forms part of our Virtual Design Festival collaboration with The World Around for Earth Day.

The World Around’s Earth Day 2020 symposium, which we are broadcasting today as part of Virtual Design Festival, features talks, presentations, films and essays by over twenty visionaries at the forefront of ecological design.

In this interview, writer and curator Chan talks to architects Jazairy and Ghosn about their work as Design Earth, a research office they run from Cambridge, Massachusetts and Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

The conversation covers the duo’s work and methodology, their vision for a form of architecture that does not involve building buildings, and the role architects have to play in helping to

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