Fullscreen (f)

“Autistic Imaginaries of Architectural Space: the world from an Autistic Lens” includes two sections. The first maps the footprint of ASPECTSS thinking across the globe and its impact on various built environment works. These span academia, research, policy and practice and are comprised of: studio pedagogies and their resultant work, dialogues and conversations, spatial research, design policy, design movements and professional projects. This global mapping provides a macro-view of the diversity in the unity and unity in the diversity of voices and applications of ASPECTSS thinking across cultures, scales and geographies.

The second section, and the primary thrust of the exhibit, is a curated selection of perceptual snapshots - photographs, sketches, artefacts and sensory mappings- that represent the autistic view of the architectural world. The message of the piece is “by viewing the world through the autistic lens, we are given a snapshot of the sensory world of our built environment from a position of alternate/innovative and novel perspectives, perspectives that can help inform the production of future worlds that are more broadly inclusive of the voices of neurodiversity”.

The collection is curated from among a series of encounters between the ASPECTSS Design Index and autistic individuals from all over the world through my work. I believe that true design must begin with the user themselves. Some autistic voices showcased are self-advocates, scientists, lawyers and even architects themselves. All have engaged with this sensory design process at some level and been influenced by ASPECTSS. The tentative list includes work from Ireland, the United States, Belgium, Egypt and the UK.

Magda Mostafa’s ASPECTSS Design Index has guided the development of the Irish Autism Friendly University Design Guide with Dublin City University and AsIAm Ireland’s Autism Charity. The ASPECTSS Design Index fed into the design of UCC Calm Zone, University College Cork.