ASID Icon - Fall 2013 - (Page 34)
Courtesy MIND Institute
DESIGN FOR LIFE/
Once dark and difficult to navigate, UC Davis’ MIND Institute was
redesigned to incorporate natural light, muted tones and open, yet
private, areas — all to better accommodate the needs of patients
who experience neurological disorders.
Centers of Attention
USING COLOR AND COMMON-SENSE STRATEGIES TO RELAX AND NURTURE KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS/
SAVVY DESIGNERS KNOW that red rooms can evoke feel-
ings of excitement and anger, while blue rooms tend to calm us
down. They know that natural light is linked to productivity, while
excessive levels of artiﬁcial light can spark annoyance. And they
know that while clutter intensiﬁes anxiety, order can have the
This may be basic knowledge, but design professionals are
increasingly applying it to a unique population: children with
special needs — particularly those with attention disorders.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
one in 88 children has been identiﬁed with an autism spectrum
disorder (ASD). As more and more children are diagnosed, the
need for adaptive design — often using the most fundamental
design tools — has never been greater.
The practice of designing for these children can be tricky.
“‘Special needs’ is such a broad term. You can’t really write a prescriptive book on it,” says Barbara Miller, ASID, NWSID, GREEN
AP, of Barbara Miller Design in West Linn, Ore. A co-author of the
ASID white-paper Researching Home: Evidence-Based Residential
Design, Miller is the founder of YES Spaces, which provides design
services for children’s rooms. She is also the mother of ﬁve, including a 15-year-old son whose acutely sensitive behavior over the
years has deﬁed labeling and presented Miller with challenges.
“Even if you just narrowly focus on kids with autism, you’ll ﬁnd
that they react differently, or they can tolerate different levels of
color, sound and pattern,” describes Miller.
Both ASD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD) affect a child’s verbal and nonverbal communication,
social interaction skills and behavior. It’s in the arena of behavior that designers can make the most difference.
“As designers, we design to our experience. These children don’t
have the same experience; their sensory modalities are off. They
experience colors and textures differently,” explains A.J. ParonWildes, Allied ASID, LEED AP ID+C, a senior A&D manager for
the magazine of the american society of interior designers
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASID Icon - Fall 2013
The Kids Are Alright
Meeting of the Minds
The Future Is Now
Design for Life
Celebration – The 2013 ASID Design Awards
ASID Icon - Fall 2013
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