Sensory Play Space


role: interior design
type: second year studio 1.2

scope of work: universal design

location: Nashville, TN, USA

year: 2021

publications: link can view below




A YMCA redesign including universal design principles, ADA compliant changes, and a designated space for a children’s Autism center. The scope of work provided specified use of Inclusive Design and ASD research for this additional community space. Working with 1296 sq. ft, the idea to divide the room into key functional areas that separate activities are to avoid over-stimulation. The space was designed to allow 2 supervisors and 10 young guests inside the room at one time.

Publications: “Autistic Imaginaries of Architectural Space: the World through an Autistic Lens" at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Palazzo Bembo, as part of the Time Space Existence curation by the European Culture Centre.



 

Statement of Design

Sensory design is deeply considered for the redesigned space that will serve as a recreation room for children to engage in various activities. For young guests with ASD, the center recognizes multiple methods of engagement and separation when needed. Sensory Play Space is an area that is inclusive to all children.

By using a minimalist approach, the theme can be beneficial for everyone. The neutral environment uses simple geometric forms and a gentle color palette. This children’s center provides comfort with smaller spatial volumes and private rooms for a change in the background if desired.

Opposite the outdoor playground, the private (escape) spaces are separated from high-stimulus areas. Acoustics play a big part in some triggering factors for those with ASD and are acknowledged in the room. A vital tool in applying a thoughtful layout to the project was using The Autism ASPECTSS™ Design Index established by Magda Mostafa, Ph.D. In 2014, Dr. Mostafa was awarded the International Union of Architects (UIA) Architecture for All Research Award at the UIA World Congress for composing the ASPECTSS™ system.