Turin, Italy–based Carlo Ratti Associati has released an open-source design for plug-in biocontainment pods made from repurposed shipping containers for hospitals around the world in need of increased ICU space for COVID-19 patients. The Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments (CURA) pods are each 20 feet long, are negative pressure, and can be connected by an inflatable corridor structure to create modular units based on the shifting needs of a medical facility. With the ability to accommodate up to two ICU patients—including a ventilator for each—each CURA pod "strives to be as fast to mount as a hospital tent, but as safe as a hospital’s isolation ward to work in," according to CRA. [CRA]

A team of researchers from MIT have joined together to design an open-source, low-cost portable ventilator to help address medical equipment shortages around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are releasing design guidance (clinical, mechanical, electrical/controls, testing) on a rolling basis as it is developed and documented,” the team reported in a MIT press release. “We encourage capable clinical-engineering teams to work with their local resources, while following the main specs and safety information, and we welcome any input other teams may have.” [MIT]

With more than a third of the U.S. already ordered to stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and millions of others opting to remain put, ARCHITECT editor Wanda Lau has compiled some of the best free technologies available to help your business function during the outbreak. [ARCHITECT]

Blaine Brownell, FAIA, reviews recent findings on COVID-19 transmission from surface contact, and reviews potential interventions for designers. [ARCHITECT]

Nagami Design

Ávila, Spain–based 3D printing design firm Nagami Design is helping address the COVID-19 pandemic by 3D printing personal protection masks for medical personnel. Using an open-source model that can be reproduced by desktop 3D printers, the team is printing approximately 500 masks per day. "This is by far the most important project we’ve ever worked on, but also one we wish we’d never had to start," say Nagami founders Manuel Jimenez García, Miki Jimenez García, and Ignacio Viguera Ochoa. "Our generation has knowledge and digital tools that have become truly meaningful. There is no product to sell, no market to compete in. This is a challenge for all of us, and we’d like to encourage everyone with tools of any kind to reach out and contribute to helping bring safety back into our world.” [Nagami Design]

Aaron Betsky explores a new theory about how computers are changing architecture. [ARCHITECT]