Title: Beyond Known Worlds. A Fragmentary Exploration of Encounters between Autism and Designing Space. (Een andere wereld tegemoet. Fragmenten van ontmoetingen tussen autisme en het ontwerp van ruimte.)
Other Titles: Beyond Known Worlds. A Fragmentary Exploration of Encounters between Autism and Designing Space.
Authors: Baumers, Stijn
Issue Date: 25-Sep-2012
Abstract: Engaged in designing the built environment, architects play an important part in shaping the setting of our daily life. Given that the process of designing implies that architects delineate the design problem in a personal way by selecting some parts of information at the expense of others, and by recording and reformulating this information in complex ways, their ideas and positions may have a considerable impact on the environments that are created. On the other hand, designed environments are actually used by a diversity of people. Since all people—building on their own capacities and previous experiences—have their own point of view regarding the built environment and interact with it on the basis of a personal frame of reference, designed environments may be interpreted in different ways by different people in different contexts.While this diversity poses intriguing challenges to the field of architectural design, current design discourses and practices show a tendency to generalise people’s characteristics by putting them into categories. Attempting to counter this tendency, this research aims to draw attention to different relations between people and the built environment. Moreover, by weaving through the research a notion of autism, which advances the particular way of thinking of autism as a valid interpretation of lived experience, this research aspires to use the diversity of people—even amongst such a ‘category’ as autism—to put architects’ prevailing frames of reference in a different light.To this end, this thesis reports a set of individual case studies that relate encounters between autism and the design of space. Guided by two research tracks—the one attending to the world of experience of people with autism themselves, the other to the process of designing space—we examine in depth several real-life situations in which aspects of both perspectives are intertwined.Where the different case studies, as ‘peepholes’, bring into focus certain fragments of encounters between autism and the design of space, the collection of different case studies invites us to take a look beyond the borders of individual cases. Triggered by particular fragments, which are affected by the running theme of autism, this research throws a new light on ideas that seem to be taken for granted in our own way of thinking, both concerning the built environment, the process of designing space, and the knowledge on which it is founded. And although autism seems to represent only one specific point of view, the in-depth examination of a diversity of relations in this research precisely demonstrates how doors can be opened to discover a variety of worlds, and encourages to move beyond the edges of prevailing ways of thinking.<w:latentstyles deflockedstate="false" defunhidewhenused="true"  <w:lsdexception="" locked="false" priority="0" semihidden="false"  
ISBN: 978-94-6018-555-7
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Research Group CAAD, Design- and Building Methodology (-)

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