New Scientist article You’ve probably seen them before: the window, the door, the sliding glass.
But now, architects are exploring how interior designers can incorporate these elements into a room and make them work.
Interior designers are often asked what kind of space they should build, and what kind, how much they should pay and what kinds of materials they should use, says Michael Zuckerman, who studies design at the Institute for Creative Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
“I think that they want to make a space that works in harmony with what the space is intended to be,” he says.
“So they’re looking for something that’s not too large, or a lot of material that’s in the way, and not so cluttered.”
Zuckermans research has focused on the design of space for children, with particular interest in the role of children in the design process.
He’s also written a book about interior design called Inside Design: A Handbook for Architects, where he talks about the importance of children as architects.
“Children are not just there to provide a window to the outside world, but to be present in the room and to be a part of the design.
They’re the people who get the project started and who create it.
And so it’s really important to make sure that they’re a part,” he explains.
But even as designers are getting closer to designing children’s spaces, they still often struggle with the issues they’ll encounter when designing a space for adults.
“In my opinion, it’s very difficult to design for people with autism, because it’s such a small part of what people do in their day-to-day lives,” Zuckers says.
That means that people who do have autism tend to struggle with understanding the design challenges they’ll face when it comes to children’s interior design.
The first challenge for interior designers, says Zucker, is that children with autism are often perceived as being too small for their environments.
“When you’re designing for children with an autism spectrum disorder, it becomes even more challenging to design something that fits their body,” he said.
“The child may have a small frame and a tiny body, but the design will always be more than the frame and body.”
Zuckingerman suggests that designing for a child’s body size is more important than the child’s size.
“They need to be able to look into the room, look at the design, and have a grasp on the space,” he explained.
“But they also need to have an understanding of how the space will feel, how it’s going to look.
And if they’re not able to do that, they can’t have the confidence that they’ll be able and happy to have that space.”
Designing for a young child’s age also can be challenging, because the space needs to be accessible, says David Williams, the director of the Urban Design Center at the New School.
“What you’re really looking for is a room that’s accessible to children who are able to use it,” he told New Scientist.
Williams adds that design for children’s bodies is less of an issue than designing for adults’ bodies.
“There’s not that much of a difference,” he admits.
But he adds that it’s important to consider body shape when designing for people who have developmental disabilities.
“It’s important that you have a balance,” he adds.
In a room for a five-year-old, Williams suggests that the child needs to look at all the surfaces and shapes.
“Make sure that there are lots of different shapes,” he advises.
“That way you can easily differentiate them and see where they’re at, and you can then see how to adjust the dimensions of the room to make it more accessible for them.”
“It doesn’t matter if you’re building for children or adults,” says Williams, who also explains that it can be hard for children to use a lot more than a few items.
“Even if you build for a four-year old or a five year old, they don’t want to take up a lot space.
And I think that’s because they’re less likely to be using a lot,” he added.
In addition, Williams says that it takes a lot longer for a design for a small child to be completed than a large one.
“You need to do a lot for them to get to the point where they can actually move in and actually see their furniture,” he recommends.
“A big one for them, it would be for a furniture set.
It would take four or five years, and then you’d have to do it again and again,” he concluded.
And for those with developmental disabilities, the challenge can be even more daunting.
“One of the most challenging things for them is when they want something like a table, they’re probably going to be very frustrated and unhappy with the table,” he suggested.
“And then they have to figure out how to figure it out