Leeds School of Arts

Autism-friendly design recommendations incorporated into ‘The National Autistic Societies’ knowledge base

Joan Love, a Senior lecturer on BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design, has had an article on ‘Autism-friendly architecture’ included on The National Autistic Societies ‘Network Autism’, Good Practice and Knowledge base. This highly regarded platform shares the most up to date expertise, practice and resources amongst professionals across the community.

Joan Love, 'Introducing the touch of water'

Joan’s article includes a series of ‘tips for creating autism-friendly school environments and sets out some recommendations on good design for autistic school pupils, based on her research with local SEND schools’.

The recommendations take into account the importance of preparation before an activity for autistic children, giving them more time to process information. This gives children time to understand what is happening next, thereby reducing anxieties, providing reassurance and enhancing their ability to learn.

In brief, the key recommendations include:

  1. Provide pause places.
  2. Multiple entrances help.
  3. Windows can offer reassurance.
  4. Join the dots.
  5. Taster spaces.

The full NAS article can be found here.

Joan Love

Senior Lecturer / Leeds School Of Arts

Joan Love is a senior lecturer and an artist who has experience of interior design in architectural practice. Her research explores autism-friendly design containing a special interest in spatial transitioning environments.

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