Joan is a senior lecturer at Leeds Beckett University who has experience of interior design in architectural practice. Her research explores autism-friendly design containing a special interest in spatial transitioning environments.
Joan’s expertise is in the advancement of autism-friendly design assisting future professionals to shape responsive spatial environments. This is an ongoing pedagogic project, with eight local SEND schools and colleges. Joan is also a specialist consultant for Leeds City Council on their new build bespoke community accommodation for autistic adults.
She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2015), a Member of Interior Educators (2009), a Member of The Chartered Society of Designers (1988) and a Member of LSA Autism Research Lab (2019): https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/larc/live-research/autism-research-lab/
Joan believes that human-centred design is crucial when creating enabling, inclusive spaces. Current autism-friendly design research involves the cross-disciplinary inputs of a sensory integration practitioner and a positive behaviour analyst, to deepen knowledge about the needs of autistic users. Her research uncovers new information in the form of ‘10 spatial transitioning platforms’ relating to behaviour-informed design.