Architecture and equity

How to take a closer look at the built environment and how it might play a role in inviting more or less inclusive behaviors. Could some changes to the schoolyard lead to better integration of children with special needs? One important step was to first understand the group dynamics between children as they play, and identify any environmental barriers that prevent children with hearing loss and autism from interacting with their peers. Aiming to promote playfulness and social wellbeing, we designed and implemented an intervention based on “loose parts play”. First results did not show any benefit to children with special needs, but the most recent results are currently under review.

People involved

Architecture - Alexander Koutamanis (UT Delft).

Computer science - Maedeh Nasri, Mitra Baratchi (Leiden University), Dennis Reidsma, Robby van Delden (University of Twente).

Psychology - Carolien Rieffe, Adva Eichengreen, Brenda M.S. da Silva, Claudia Libbi (University of Twente / Leiden University), Guida Veiga (University of Evora).

Key Publications

  • Rieffe, C., & Koutamanis, A. (in press). Een autisme-vriendelijke school; Architectuur als eerste stap. Wetenschappelijk Tijdschrift Autisme.