A Day in the Life: Live/Work Architecture Utilizing Autism-Based Inclusive Design
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This thesis explores architectural implications of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and tests design strategies in a live/work complex on the waterfront of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Manifestations of ASD differ enormously between cases, so establishing comprehensive design principles is a challenge. What may be considered ‘normal’ daily tasks for some are completely overwhelming for others, yet architecture can assist those with autism to navigate these complexities, helping them become more independent, while simultaneously easing the burden on their caregivers. The architecture draws on the vernacular and celebrates the tradition of wooden boatbuilding. Design strategies such as the notion of preview and retreat, program clarity and sequencing, and a thorough investigation in thresholds will be applied throughout the project. These features are no longer adaptations to disability but qualities of universal value bringing a sense of clarity, predictability and a range of stimulation for all individuals anywhere on or off the spectrum.