School as ‘Micro-city’ for the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Pupil

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    As architects and designers we have a responsibility to provide an inclusive built environment. For the person with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) however, the built environment can be a frightening and confusing place, difficult to negotiate and tolerate. The challenge of integrating more fully into society is denied by both having difficulty in communication and in an alienating built environment. The following paper therefore firstly outlines the challenge when designing for those with ASD. It then illustrates, by critically examining the school as a 'micro-city' (Hertzberger 2008) that a voice can be given to those with ASD. It then goes onto highlight, through two case studies in an Irish context, some of the lessons that can be learnt from pupils with ASD that are applicable to the city beyond. Finally in conclusion it suggests some of the benefits for an enriched built environment for all, when listening to the pupil with ASD. The objective is twofold; firstly to gain a better understanding of the needs of those with ASD and secondly, to ascertain what can be learnt from those with ASD that can challenge our perception of not just school, but also of the city.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)150-158
    Number of pages9
    JournalSpandrel - Journal of SPA – New Dimensions in Research of Environments for Living.
    Volume4
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Keywords

    • Architecture; Autism; Children; Design, School Environment

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