Pockets of Peace. Multi-sensory environments for young adults on the autism spectrum
The transition between adolescence and adulthood can be an emotionally and physically challenging time for everyone. This period of time is especially challenging for those who are on the autism spectrum as the change from a structured and supportive system to full independence can be sudden and unfamiliar. Unfortunately, there is little to no support systems in place to help aid young adults with this transition. Pockets of Peace explores how interior architecture can be used to help aid the well-being of young adults on the autism spectrum by creating a controllable and interactive multi-sensory experience that aims to cater to the vast diversity within autism.
The questions surrounding the design process were how to design for the vast diversity within autism, as well as how to improve the well-being of the users by reducing anxiety and stress without introducing negative behaviours and reactions. The method of tackling these uncertainties was to test the design in three ways, through the urban environment, within a program and through mass production. Each stage of design produced different questions and limitations surrounding the design’s effectiveness, which were then carried through to the next stage of the design to help aid development and to try and solve the questions and reduce the limitations. The final outcome of this project will be a set of design guidelines aimed as a guide to help future designers. These design guidelines will provide an important framework for autism design as well as contribute to the interior architecture discipline. By continuing this process, there will be a greater public understanding of autism as well as how design can either positively or negatively affect the daily lives of those who are on the autism spectrum.