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Residential design for adults on the autism spectrum: a scoping review

Phuong Nguyen (Department of Architecture, Research[x]Design, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium) (Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Hanoi University of Civil Engineering, Hanoi, Vietnam)
Viviana d'Auria (Department of Architecture, OSA, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)
Ann Heylighen (Department of Architecture, Research[x]Design, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)

Open House International

ISSN: 0168-2601

Article publication date: 30 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

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.

Citation

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

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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