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Social Care Facility Design: for Whom

On and off since last summer, Yamada Architecture has been working with a social care provider organization to develop a design concept of their new daycare facility for people with intellectual disability and/or autistic spectrum disorder.

Recent visit to one of their existing facilities was another opportunity for me to learn more about those folks' everyday life and challenges. Their quality of time at the facility directly affects that at home. And vice versa. It also affects their family members' quality of life. That said, our goal seems to be boiled down to letting those folks have a good day at the facility.

Their disabilities force severe limitations in verbal communication, which apparently is overwhelmingly frustrating: Those holes punched in the restroom walls speak. Some of their sensory system can be hyper-sensitive on some days, while others can be hypo-sensitive. Their sensory issues can also make what appears to be a typical normal work space - even aesthetically great - a not-so-comfortable for them to spend a day in.

In search of a design concept for the new daycare facility, the perspective of disabled users' sensory issues seems to be a crucial factor to be incorporated in conjunction with the facility staffers’ inputs and requirements. During this visit, I was keenly reminded that those with intellectual disability is undoubtedly the core client.

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