Ahead of World Autism Acceptance Week, the interior decor brand releases four designs in aid of the UK's leading autism charity.
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About the initiative
The campaign encourages conscious design decisions that seek to accommodate and empower more people, and the new collection comes as a celebration of World Autism Acceptance Week, taking place 27 March to 2 April.
The brand is hoping to raise £4,400 or more with this partnership to support the work of the charity.
About the designs
Insights from research exploring the impact of interior environments on autistic people helped inform Hovia's design choices for the collection. With advice such as:
- Avoid saturated and bright colours, as they cause glare and make eyes uncomfortable in certain situations
- Avoid red and yellow (saturated warm colours)
- Use neutral colours like ivory, beige, light mocha, muted teal and soft grey
- Use tranquil hues like pale blue, soft green and muted purple (cold colours)
- Consider homogeneity in painting
'Cevenne Neutral' mural by Hovia
Sensory decorating tips
Responses to colours are subjective, and no two people experience the world in the same way. For these murals, we used shades and designs that we understand many people dealing with hypersensitivity will appreciate, but we know they may not be colours that all autistic people will enjoy.
Catherine Jacob, Head of Design at Hovia
Haverstock — an architectural practice with 30 years of experience designing specialist spaces — also provide their expert insights on creating an accommodating interior:
For autistic adults, young people and children, an environment which is too stimulating is uncomfortable and can cause unnecessary distress. Calmer environments that use colours within a muted range can reduce heart rate and empower autistic people to feel in control of their environment.
- A choice of different muted tones. Each autistic adult is unique, and will have a different tonal range that they feel is calming.
- Irregular images, rather than patterns. Repeated geometric patterns can be painful for an autistic person to take in, as they may have to work much harder to process the pattern.
- Contemporary, artistic designs. Barton notes, 'It's refreshing to see mature, modern designs being produced for the special needs market, to get away from the institutional design styles that seem to be the go-to for these environments.'
'Vast' mural by Hovia
Awareness is knowing that autistic people exist. Acceptance is including and supporting autistic people within communities; creating better understanding and connections between us all.
Gaby Richardson, National Autistic Society
Hovia will donate 15% of the proceeds from the sales of the products on its UK site to the National Autistic Society (England & Wales charity no. 269425 and SC039427 in Scotland). The total contribution is estimated to be £4,400.