Shopping Sensorial Experience

For my thesis, I am interested in how people can experience the world differently through their senses. This research stemmed from the study of autism, which can make someone hyper-sensitive to things like light, sound, texture, and other sensorial stimuli.

Through my research, I watched a TEDTalk from a woman who was diagnosed as autistic in her adulthood. She spoke eloquently about her experience in shopping malls, stating:

"When I go to the shopping mall, I don't struggle because there's something wrong with me, I struggle because the shopping mall is designed in a way that doesn't cater to my needs. If we started designing shopping malls that were quiet, dimly lit, predictable, and sparsely populated, well I'd still be autistic, but I might not be disabled by shopping malls anymore."

After watching her lecture, I became interested in how we design places like grocery stores, and how they could be designed differently to accommodate people who experience the world differently through their senses.

In my own project, I am using individual perspectives of individuals on the autism spectrum to redesign a conventional grocery store, so that multiple readings of a space we all know can allow us to see that space differently.