New York, NY

Type: Research, Prototyping
Client: Design Trust for Public Space
Partners: Verona Carpenter Architects
Community Partners: CIDNY, IncludeNYC
With WIP Collaborative.

The Design Trust for Public Space, Verona Carpenter Architects, WIP Collaborative, and a network of disability advocates have partnered on a new initiative to reimagine New York City public spaces — streets, playgrounds, plazas, and more —  to better support neurodiversity. 

Neurodiversity is the diversity of human minds, the infinite variation in brain functioning that exists in our world. Neurodivergent people – including people with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyspraxia, dyslexia, intellectual disabilities, and mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and PTSD – are often excluded from public space access because the planning and construction of our communities does not take into account the cognitive, sensory, and social variation inherent in our neurodiverse world. Public spaces are only accessible if they can be meaningfully used by the full range of the public. The Neurodiverse City seeks to learn from the experience and knowledge of neurodivergent self-advocates by building a broad-based coalition of partners, identifying ways to quantify and qualify neuroinclusive space, and proposing meaningful policy change in key areas where these ideas can be scaled and broadened. 

WIP Collaborative, a shared feminist practice of independent design professionals, Verona Carpenter Architects, a full service architecture and interiors firm, and the Design Trust will serve as the project co-leads, working with community partners to shepherd the initiative, including the Center for Independence of the Disabled-NY and INCLUDEnyc. The project will be guided by an Advisory Committee of neurodivergent stakeholders, self-advocates and community leaders. This project is a winner of the Design Trust’s latest Request for Proposals, themed around building community wellness through public space.
Learn more: The Neurodiverse City - Design Trust for Public Space

Images WIP Collaborative, Design Trust for Public Space.