A Workshop and Planetarium facility designed for children of cognitive diversity and along the spectrum of atypical learning disabilities. The facility is designed as an alternative to standardized institutional learning environments where children struggle to focus and keep pace. The result of a failure in the standardized school environment has detrimental developmental effects on children which I aimed to mitigate through empathetic and unconventional design. A focus on the balance of stimuli, level of structure and freedom, and the use of tactile materials were key components in creating an interactive, creative, tech-infused space for the emerging generation of sensitive, volatile, and tech savvy beings.
OWI YOUTH WORKSHOP
There were two sensitive concerns for me in material selection;
- neutralizing colors that may trigger students who potentially lie further on the autism quadrant
- providing materials that could physically occupy the user's urge to fidget or touch. Standardized classroom enviornments and rules tend to repress these common urges to fidget or exert energy.
Through research of the psychologic responses color evokes, I developed a material pallete and source schedule tuned to both stimulate and soothe. A foundation of warm neutrals are fabricated throughout the space with accents of energizing light and optics and de-sterilizing color/chromotherapy that compel and engage the tech responsive alpha generation of students.
This Auxillary space is composed of a 1st floor work shop, mezzanine media library, and a Planetarium wall to ceiling LCD screen that guests can program and automate themselves. In this space, kids affinity in media, gaming, art and less conventional fields are embraced and challenged. As an alternative to standard educational facilites, this space is meant to validate, empower, and motivate kids intrinsic skills.