Designing new spaces for neurodiversity
In a world we we need to harness the talents of everyone, we need to design workspaces for everybody
It’s Neurodiversity Celebration Week and at The Team some of my colleagues have been looking at their own experiences and what it means for design.
First, a reminder of why all this matters.
- Research from a 2018 Deloitte report found that companies with inclusive cultures were six times more likely to be innovative and agile.
- In the UK alone, it’s estimated that 700,000 people are living with autism, and 15-20% of the U.S. population is neurodivergent
- Companies in the bottom quartile for gender and ethnic/cultural diversity are 29 per cent less likely to achieve above-average profitability
- But in the year to June 2021 only 29 per cent of UK adults with autism were employed
Jennifer Robinson kicks off this first episode by challenging us to think differently about how we design the workspace for more people. Jen’s son has recently been diagnosed with having neuro-diverse needs. In many ways, we all have neuro-diverse needs and often the language of ‘diagnosis’ is unhelpful. Some people living with ADHD can compute and complete tasks far faster than those who do not. It’s not a disability – it’s just called diversity.
We are missing out on so much talent.
People often focus on the challenges of neurological diversity. I wanted to change the narrative and create a balanced view which focuses equally on our talents and strengths.Siena Castellon, founder of Neurodiversity Celebration Week
In this first episode, Mary Rellin joins Jen to share her personal experiences. With a background in architecture, Mary’s thesis focused on the design of space with neurodiverse needs in mind. She tells us about how we can think differently about neurodiversity and space, and create workplaces and leisure places that invite us all to enjoy the best of life.
And with their experience of having designed and delivered accessible online experience, Client Director, Ciara Rollings and Experience Design Director, Kardo Ayoub share their insights into how we all need to think differently in the future.