Molding human spaces.
I like buildings, plants and coffee.
“I am not disabled by my autism, though; I am disabled by my environment.” – Jac den Houting, a research psychologist with autism
This project is interested in understanding the relationship between autism and design, and how design can help achieve a better built environment for people on the autistic spectrum.
Autism is not an illness that needs curing, it is a neurological disorder that affects part of the brain that involves information processing. This makes interacting with the environment a little more difficult for those with autism than for others.
In this project, three different typologies are investigated to show the difference in designing for autism as compared to designing for neurotypical people. Precedent studies, research papers, interviews, and literature become an important part of the design process, questioning and understanding more dominant ways of thinking about design. The project is not about creating the most beautiful and exciting spaces, rather it hopes to design spaces that people on the spectrum can understand and enjoy.
01. The Classroom
“Being held by another person is scary but rolling or being held by surfaces produces the calming effect that ordinary children get from a hug.” -Temple Grandin, Autistic American scientist and activist
This project aims to redesign a classroom in a school for students who are on the spectrum. It focuses in providing a sense of security and protection that student with autism need to focus on activities.
The classroom is a space where students with autism learn other than at home. This makes the classroom an important space to explore and understand how can we make this a safe and secure environment for students with autism.
02. The Corridor
“A design is loaded up with inherent meanings, which can afford certain behaviours—conscious or not. But do we—as designers—still question how a door can be designed so as to look inviting to enter?” – Stijn Baumers, Beyond the Designers’ View: How People with Autism Experience Space
This project aims to redesign a corridor in a school for students who are on the spectrum. It focuses on wayfinding – specifically visual cues – in the school corridor. This project will convey the fundamental understanding of what it means to design a space, that is predictable for people on the spectrum.
People on the spectrum have a different way of processing information, which is why understanding the contrast between a neurotypical and a person on the spectrum’s way of interpreting spaces is crucial in creating this design.
The value of this project is about questioning the dominant way of thinking about design. It enables us to look into the fundamentals of design when designing for people on the spectrum. It goes beyond just designing the sensory quality of the space.