Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (MArch)

Legacy Department



Allison, David

Committee Member

Battisto , Dina

Committee Member

Vincent , Ellen

Committee Member

Heine , Ulrike


Facilities for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) have the potential to enhance the quality of life through the built environment and the comprehensive services they provide. In the United States, there are few facilities that exist, many of which focus on disabilities, thus rendering the facility an accommodator rather than an enabler. According to Sherry Ahrentzen, PhD, and Kim Steele:
'Architects and housing providers have little familiarity in how design can best accommodate and ameliorate the challenges and conditions faced by adults with autism...' (Ahrentzen 2009)
This project aims to create a series of design guidelines that are informed by best practice case studies, a review of literature in the fields of Environmental Psychology and Biophilia, and existing design guidelines for ASD learning and living environments. It will address the need for a prototype facility that will provide the opportunity for ASD adults (19yrs+) to live a fulfilling and independent lifestyle. The resulting prototype design illustrates the application of these design guidelines, seeking to improve the overall quality of life for persons with ASDs by providing comprehensive services, fostering health and wellness, increasing independence, reducing behavioral outbursts, improving skills, and increasing community integration.

Included in

Architecture Commons