Architecture is a discipline that helps organise environments to suit the user’s requirements and needs. This is fundamental to our design philosophy, none more so than when we work on mental health projects. We believe that creating autism friendly environments is central to any scheme and that, no more, should people with autism have to fight for their rights.
In many cases we see that surrounding environments contribute to a person’s disablement. The same person set in the right environment could then be seen as an able person.
The main design principles, which we apply to all our projects, have evolved through consultation and engagement with trustees, clinical staff, facility managers and, more importantly, in talking with and respecting people with autism and other learning difficulties and their families.
The presentation will focus on
• How to engage with people with Autism at the design stage
• Autism friendly colour palette research with Hilary Dalke at Kingston University
• Proxemics and sensory space perception
• Specific challenges: finding the right balance between a building that will resist challenging behaviour and the need of sensory stimulation to avoid self harming