Date of Submission

Summer 5-7-2021

Degree Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Miné Hashas-Degertekin

Secondary Advisor

Diane Keen and Bill De St.Aubin


According to the CDC, Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I.D.D.) face numerous issues that prevent them from being self-sufficient such as, lack of accessible environments, lack of employment opportunities, and a negative stigma in society. Due to these obstacles, individuals with I.D.D. are isolated and dependent on direct family members which contributes to poor well-being. The aim of this thesis is to create design solutions that will allow individuals with I.D.D. to live meaningfully and independently. This topic will be approached in two parts: a research and design component. The research component includes: 1) Analyzing obstacles individuals with I.D.D. face how they have been addressed previously. 2) Understanding the different forms of I.D.D. 3) Analyzing the concepts of universal design, phenomenology, and designing for sensory stimulation. 4) Analyzing case studies of buildings that incorporate sensory stimulation within design. 5) Understanding case studies of communities for individuals with varied dependency levels. With this knowledge I will design an inclusive intergenerational residential community with homes and public spaces that accommodate the needs of different dependency levels while also creating meaningful experiences through implementing a supportive emotional environment, and a supportive physical environment. The supportive emotional environment will focus on promoting economic independence by implementing skill-training and work-live programs and on creating human connections by designing environments that encourage cross-socialization. A supportive physical environment will be designed through accessible and connected private and public spaces that focus on sensory stimulation to promote comfort and a sense of place. The design product of this thesis will be used by the Community of Hope to build their first Intergenerational Community for people with I.D.D. Although the project will be designed for a site, its spatial, experiential, and programmatic frameworks can be implemented at the non-profit's other community development projects with different conditions.