3rd International Neurodiversity & the Built Environment Symposium: PlaceMaking

Third Annual Neurodiversity & the Built Environment Placemaking Graphic

3rd International Neurodiversity & the Built Environment Symposium: PlaceMaking

Third Annual Neurodiversity & the Built Environment Placemaking Graphic

Building on the last two years symposia FALL2020 Building Community and Rethinking the Built Environment and FALL2021 Immersive Experiences respectively, this year we are looking to expand the scope of the dialogue with a focus on the notions of belonging, placemaking and sensemaking over a two-parts symposium during October 2022 and Spring 2023. These serial events are intensely cross-disciplinary and aim towards critical interactions addressing all-inclusive ways for inhabiting and perceiving our environments. They aim to stimulate international dialogue amongst architects, planners, designers, artists, therapists, medical field experts, tech companies, educational institutions, advocates, neurodivergent people and their caregivers.

Event Schedule

Synesthetic Research & Design Lab -SR&DL- CABE, Thomas Jefferson University
Severino Alfonso & Loukia Tsafoulia, SR&DL Directors and Ass.Professors, College of Architecture & the Built Environment, Thomas Jefferson University

Center for Autism and Neurodiversity -CAN- Jefferson Health
Wendy J. Ross, Inaugural Director, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Health, Sabra Townsend, Director of Operations, Michael Barrett, Design and Education Coordinator

Lizbeth Goodman, Founder/Director, SMARTlab, Founder/Director, the Inclusive Design Research Centre of Ireland @ UCD, Anita McKeown, SMARTLab Skelligs, Tara O'Neil, SMARTLab Niagara


Mark L. Tykocinski, President, Thomas Jefferson University Anthony F. and Gertrude M. DePalma Dean, Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Barbara Klinkhammer, RA (DEU), Dipl.-Ing. Dean and Professor, Thomas Jefferson University, College of Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE)

Chaired by the SMARTLab, Lizbeth Goodman, Anita McKeown & Tara O'Neil

Inclusive and ethical ways to co-design technology with autistic groups: A case study of virtual reality and robots.
Nigel Newbutt, Assistant Professor in advanced learning technologies, University of Florida.

AR Digital Helpers for Teens and Young Adults with Autism.
Julie LeMoine, Asst. Prof. of Neurobehavioral Technology, E. K. Shriver Center at UMass Chan Medical School, Co-founder & Manager, Shriver Center Inova-XR Lab, Co-founder medVR, Chief Innovation Officer, HorizonIRs

Fish Climbing Trees; Repurposing Technologies for Twice Exceptional Students and Gamification for Gifted Inclusion.
Muireann O’Sullivan-Byrne, Faculty at St. Ita's and St. Joseph's Special School, Tralee

Social change in perfumery: expanding creative access for a diverse world.
Saskia Wilson-Brown, Founder, The Institute for Art and Olfaction

In Dialogue. Moderated discussion and audience Q&A

Chaired by the Synesthetic Research and Design Lab, Severino Alfonso & Loukia Tsafoulia

Arts, Aesthetics, and “How We Human”.
Tasha Golden, Director of Research, International Arts + Mind Lab, Johns Hopkins University

Narrative, metaphor and fiction as tools for understanding the world and healing it.
Maria Vidali, Principal “Μaria Vidali – Architect” practice, Athens, Greece

Three Approaches to Healing from the 1960s. Government, Psychedelic, and Equine.
Joy Knoblauch, Associate Professor, Director of the PhD Program in Architecture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

21st Century Multi-literacies, story-telling and disruption. The journeys Together, Apart.
Daithí Ó Murchú HC, Ireland - International Consultant and Expert Advisor

In Dialogue. Moderated discussion and audience Q&A

Chaired by the Center for Autism and Neurodiversity, Jefferson Health

Design, Process, and Practice for the Neurodivergent Workplace.
Jennifer Carpenter, RA, AIA, LEED AP; Principal, Verona Carpenter Architects
Cait Russell, OTD, OTR/L, Director, Neurodiversity Employment Network: Philadelphia
Evander "Ev" Smith, Operations Coordinator at A Step Up Academy and Autistic Advocate
Rachel Updegrove, Lab Planner and Autistic Advocate, WELL AP

The Autism Friendly University: from Advocacy to Architecture.
Magda Mostafa, PhD, Autism Design Consultant, Progressive Architects
Stuart Neilson, Postdoctoral researcher in the School of Inclusive & Special Education, DCU
Adam Harris, Founder & Chief Executive Officer - AsIAm.ie Ireland's National Autism Charity

Building an inclusive hydroponics vertical farm for engaging the autism community.
Anita Yakkundi, Founder-Director, AuSome GrowSome

In Dialogue. Moderated discussion and audience Q&A

The event is co-organized by the Synesthetic Research and Design Lab, College of Architecture and the Built Environment at Thomas Jefferson University, the Jefferson Health Center for Autism and Neurodiversity and the University College Dublin Inclusive Design Research Centre of Ireland in partnership with SMARTlab teams in Dublin Skelligs and Niagara.

Check out past events: