AUTISM MOBILE UNIT DESIGN COMPETITION

Philadelphia - United States

Background
The A.J. Drexel Autism Institute is an autism research institute focused on public health science, directed by Craig Newschaffer. Their mission is to discover and develop approaches that will: prevent autism-associated morbidity and disability and address the needs of, and improve the quality of life for individuals with autism of all ages and their families.

About the competition
To design the interior and exterior of the Mobile Autism Assessment unit, which is a vehicle to accomodate work with children for clinical studies on Autism.
The primary function of the mobile assessment units will be to allow clinical assessment teams to visit family residential and/or community service provider (e.g., pre schools, schools, health centers) settings to complete clinical testing on subjects for research studies.
A secondary function will be to increase awareness of the Institute (i.e., the vehicle could be brought to events such as the Philadelphia Walk Now for Autism). Since the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute has a particular focus on public health, these vehicles should promote engagement with diverse communities.

Other Criterias
1. The mobile assessment units will need to be visually appealing and approachable across communities of different race/ethnicities and backgrounds.
2. Should tailor to children of age 12 and below.
3. Their caregivers who will serve as the primary interactors with the mobile assessment units will be of all ages and relationships to the child so the mobile assessment units must generate both their interest and engagement.

Our Vision
With our life journey concept we wanted to create a mobile unit that is approachable, relevant, engaging, functional, efficient and sensitive to the needs of many. We hope the mobile unit will foster a sense of trust to the community, provide valuable resources, create a sense of hope; and serve as a stepping stone towards a road of enhanced opportunities for children with Autism.