This scoping review aims to (1) summarize research and design writings on residential design for adults on the autism spectrum in peer-reviewed and grey literature, (2) identify research gaps in this field and (3) understand the concept of independent living based on this literature.
A systematic search was conducted in seven databases using 47 search terms related to residence, design and autism. It was supplemented with a manual search for recommended authors and architectural websites.
A final review of 37 sources highlighted that existing residential design guidelines are supported by weak evidence due to the lack of methods for involving and limited direct contact with autistic adults. Moreover, the needs of people living or working with them tend to be overlooked. Finally, the role of independent living has received little attention in the literature on residential design for adults on the spectrum.
The findings show a need for taking on board autistic people's understanding of independent living. Future research about residential design for autistic adults should be conducted with them, in diverse housing settings, providing nuanced insight into their housing needs and those of the people around them.
This scoping review is the first to provide an overview of what is known about residential design for autistic adults with a focus on the concept of independent living.
This work received funding from the Vietnam International Education Development – project 911. The authors wish to thank the KU Leuven Libraries – 2Bergen (Belgium), for their help in conducting the systematic literature search. Thanks also goes to Dr Pleuntje Jellema and Dr Natalia Perez Liebergesell from KU Leuven for helpful feedback and discussion in conducting our review.
Nguyen, P., d'Auria, V. and Heylighen, A. (2022), "Residential design for adults on the autism spectrum: a scoping review", Open House International, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/OHI-12-2021-0254
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