Thesis Studio 12
Designing with Neurodiversity

Housing solutions that embrace difference

Studio leaders: Dr Andrew Martel and Dr Kirsten Day


“We need to see autism in context. It is the context that defines whether the autistic thinking is a deficit or an asset. The question is not whether autism is a disability or not. The question is: where and when does it prevent the person from being happy and flourishing.” Peter Vermeulen

This studio investigates housing options for people on the autism spectrum. As the centre of gravity of Melbourne’s population shifts to the north and west, this area of the city has a critical shortage of appropriate housing options for people with disabilities, including those with autism.

The studio focuses on a site in central Mernda that is being actively considered for development by the not-for-profit disability services provider, Araluen, and so the studio outcomes respond to client expectations, meet all building and planning regulations, and be cost effective in terms of overall building size, number of apartments, building materials and construction method used. Most importantly, however, the internal design of the apartments must recognize the neurodiversity of the client group and respond to enhance the happiness and personal flourishing of the residents

Image: MissLunaRose12: Wikimedia Commons

Architecture 2020_winter