Lily Kravetz
20170508-KDG_4339.jpg

The Calming Room

 

The Calming Room

The Calming Room is a system that customizes the built environment to support the diverse sensory needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It was designed in response to a case study of “The Quiet Room” in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which is an alternative to the typical waiting room for patients with sensory differences. In ASD, these differences are characterized by hypo- and/or hypersensitivity in the following domains: visual, auditory, tactile, oral, olfactory, proprioceptive (movement), and vestibular (balance). This project demonstrates how a person with ASD and/or their caregiver could work with a healthcare professional to create their own Calming Room. The aim of this project is illustrate the concept of a dynamic room and to encourage the neurotypical viewer to better understand the sensory needs in ASD and their behavioral implications.

Written thesis available here
Advised by David Comberg (PennDesign) and Dr. Margaret Souders (Penn School of Nursing)
Architectural renderings by Jonah Schatz

 

existing quiet room

Left: Photo of the existing Quiet Room at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Right: Scale drawing of the existing Quiet Room by Jonah Schatz

Left: Photo of the existing Quiet Room at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Right: Scale drawing of the existing Quiet Room by Jonah Schatz


 

proposal

This mockup demonstrates an app in which individuals with ASD and/or their guardians would consult with a healthcare professional to create their personal Calming Room.

 
 
 

 

SAMPLE ROOMs

Possible room realizations based on the sensory profiles of patients at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Animations created by Jonah Schatz

 

Ricardo is an eight-year-old male who was adopted from Mexico. He loves the smell of chocolate and his favorite color is red. Ricardo likes listening to Disney music, looking at fans, touching hard rubber surfaces, rocking back-and-forth, playing with snow globes, and eating cookies. He has low muscle tone and is generally hypersensitive to sound, taste, and touch, while hyposensitive to visual stimuli. He has Autism Spectrum Disorder, anxiety disorder, insomnia, and obesity.

Caitlyn is a six-year-old female whose parents immigrated to the United States from Bosnia. Her favorite color is pink, and her favorite smell is her mother’s perfume, Chanel No. 5. She likes wrapping herself in her heavy quilt, listening to nursery rhymes, watching YouTube videos of dolls, and playing with her dog. Caitlyn often sings repetitive phrases from cartoons and lines up her dolls in a row. She is sensory seeking across all domains and has Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Danny is an eight-year-old white male. His favorite color is the orange of his musical giraffe toy, and he loves the smell of chocolate chip cookies. Danny likes listening to white noise such as ESPN News, playing with his musical giraffe toy, and touching the soft fur of his two labradoodles at home. Danny is extremely shy, tends to suck his thumb, generally avoids movement activities, likes only certain kinds of sounds, and is hypersensitive to touch. He has Autism Spectrum Disorder, cognitive impairment, and severe anxiety.

William is an eight-year-old male who immigrated to the United States with his mother from Liberia. He loves the smell of crayons, and his favorite color is blue. William likes listening to the drums, looking at picture books, watching TV, playing on his iPad, and touching his mother’s hair. He is sensory seeking across all domains and is highly emotionally responsive to sensory stimuli. William tends to speak in repetitive phrases and has Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and insomnia.


 

installation

Project installation at the Penn Visual Studies Senior Thesis Exhibition, featuring animated renderings and sensory comfort objects. On display May 1–12, 2017 | Photos by Kaleb Germinaro