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dc.contributor.authorKrishnamoorthy, Vignesh
dc.description.abstractRESEARCH QUESTION: How can architecture create a conducive learning environment for children with autism through sensory design? Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) impacts an individual’s cognitive, sensory and social processing abilities. At present, there is no effective cure. However, in many cases, the difficulties faced can be mitigated through early intervention. In 2018, there were approximately 75,000 New Zealanders on the spectrum, with diagnosis rates projected to increase. Children diagnosed with mild to high forms of autism lack the funding and resources required for special education schooling and therefore, are expected to cope within the mainstream framework among neurotypical peers with minimal support. Currently, children with ASD are subjected to poorly designed facilities (satellite units), often unused classrooms in mainstream schools that are not purpose-built and therefore not conducive for learning. Traditionally satellite units serve children who qualify for funding, however, this project proposes a transitionary facility within a mainstream school for children who otherwise would receive minimal support at a time when mitigation has the greatest impact. This research project proposes a new architecture of education that prioritises not only learning for children with ASD but fosters a sense of agency through learning for children on the spectrum. To achieve this, the resulting architecture is established on a hybrid intervention method based on principles of flexibility and choice, correlating with sensory design and a student-centred pedagogy. In addition, this learning environment attempts to create a more supportive community for people with autism, by helping mitigate difficulties faced and raising awareness. The design proposal combines educational and architectural theories based on learning and perception of space through analysis of existing practice. To achieve this, the research project develops a design methodology based on three avenues of spatial research: autism, education and sensory perception as the common factor bridging the existing gap. The design proposal is a combination of Magda Mostafa’s ASPECTSS guidelines for ASD with the physical manifestation of David Thornburg’s primordial metaphors for learning and a variety of sensory design principles related to spatial perception. Sensory design employs first-person experience that directly correlates to our understanding of the environment. Disparities amongst the neurotypical and neurodiverse sensory processing capabilities pose a multifaceted challenge for designing an inclusive learning environment catered to the individualistic learner of the 21st century. The result of this project is an architecture of education that enables people with autism to learn and participate in a conducive environment. The architecture is integrated into the existing mainstream school (Three Kings School) and demonstrates a shift in current practice relating to inclusivity. By combining two schools of thought relating to architectural intervention for autism, the project creates opportunities for children with ASD to become independent and active learners. Related material:
dc.rightsAll rights reserveden_NZ
dc.subjectThree Kings Primary School (Mount Roskill, Auckland, N.Z.)en_NZ
dc.subjectMount Roskill (Auckland, N.Z.)en_NZ
dc.subjectAuckland (N.Z.)en_NZ
dc.subjectNew Zealanden_NZ
dc.subjectchildren with autismen_NZ
dc.subjectAutistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)en_NZ
dc.subjectarchitecture for the autisticen_NZ
dc.subjectmulti-sensory environmentsen_NZ
dc.subjectinclusive educationen_NZ
dc.subjectearly childhood educationen_NZ
dc.subjectMostafa, Magdaen_NZ
dc.subjectAutism ASPECTSS™ Design Indexen_NZ
dc.subjectThornburg, David D.en_NZ
dc.titleATyPICAL : conducive learning environments for children with ASDen_NZ
dc.typeMasters Thesisen_NZ
dc.rights.holderAuthoren_NZ of Architecture (Professional)en_NZ Institute of Technologyen_NZ
dc.subject.marsden120101 Architectural Designen_NZ
dc.subject.marsden130312 Special Education and Disabilityen_NZ
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitationKrishnamoorthy, V. (2019). ATyPICAL : conducive learning environments for children with ASD. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from
dc.contributor.affiliationUnitec Institute of Technologyen_NZ
unitec.publication.placeAuckland, New Zealanden_NZ
unitec.advisor.principalFoote, Hamish
unitec.advisor.associatedPretty, Annabel

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