Twice exceptional : shaping supportive environments for neurodiversity
van der Geest, Trystan
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Citation:van der Geest, T. (2020). Twice exceptional : shaping supportive environments for neurodiversity. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5342
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5342
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can schools be designed to help shape supportive and encouraging learning environments for primary to high school students that are neurologically diverse? ABSTRACT: Twice Exceptional (2E) is the term used to describe children who have both exceptional abilities and disparities within the sphere of learning; current educational thinking uses the term “Neurodiverse” to describe these children. The term “neurodiversity” was introduced in 1998 by Australian sociologist Judy Singer, and includes a spectrum of conditions such as ADHD, autism and Dyslexia. Unfortunately, children affected by neurodiversity often lack adequate support in schools (due to limited resources within their educational environments), and are expected to work in standard classrooms. Although many schools offer special learning programs, very few contain purpose-built classrooms that meet the needs of neurodiverse children who are often hypersensitive to their surroundings. In order to help mitigate the hypersensitive tendencies of these children in school, the project proposes a purpose-built facility designed to provide a supportive learning environment. The project combines architectural and educational theories that focus on the different emotions space may create for an individual. The research methodology utilises three approaches: specialist theories, well-being and architectural qualities. The underpinning literature draws on David Thornburg’s ‘Campfire in Cyberspace’ in terms of his variety of space types, The ‘WELL Building Standard’s’ approach to healthy learning environments, combined with Biophilia, which helps designers integrate nature into the built environment in order to boost well-being. The outcome of this project is as an architectural proposition, aimed at facilitating the education of students affected by neurodiversity, enabling them to engage with their learning, using specifically designed environments to develop their cognitive function.