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Regenerative Living Opportunities for Young Adults with Autism

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Survey opens October 18th, 2021 and closes at 5:00 p.m. on October 21st

Regenerative Living Opportunities for Young Adults with Autism

After a young adult with autism leaves fulltime education there are few affordable residential spaces designed to meet their unique needs. This project-based learning design studio offers a unique opportunity for students to develop residential housing ideas for young adults with autism on an existing site, the derelict VA Hospital in Knoxville, IA. We have linked in with representatives from the City of Knoxville and Marion County. Students will apply the imperatives of the Living Building Challenge (LBC) to their designs, including the seven petals place, water, energy, health and happiness, materials, equity, and beauty. Students will also be challenged to consider affordability, and how those intangibles such as health, happiness and beauty can be applied equitably in design for everyone to enjoy.
One learning objective is developing teamwork skills, including architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, graphic design, and industrial design. Students in CRP will work on real estate development aspects. Art and visual culture students will add worth to the site. Beyond design, students in mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering will be invited to enrol. These multidisciplinary teams will mirror real-world collaboration.
Learning objectives include:
• Improve multidisciplinary understanding and team-working skills
• Work on a project-based learning scheme with real-world applications
• Become familiar with regenerative concepts of the LBC
• Develop solutions to solve a social issue, i.e., housing for individuals with autism, hopefully
becoming more engaged citizens and advocates for people with disabilities
Planned activities include a grant-sponsored design charette to kick-off the project, a field trip to Seattle, WA, to visit the LBC headquarters, other LBC certified buildings, and autism facilities, and a site visit to Knoxville, IA. Instruction will include lectures, guest lectures, and student presentations sharing their profession. At the end of the semester, students will have a unique project to add to their portfolio.

Course Credit
  • 4
  • 6
  • Variable
Iowa State University Innovate @ Iowa State
  • Social Entrepreneurship
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
  • Good Health and Well-Being
Will this course be cross-listed?


Days/times for the course

Monday 8:50-11:50 a.m., Wednesday and Friday 8:50-12:55 p.m.

Field trip locations

Seattle, Washington; Knoxville, IA

Field trip schedule

FIELD TRIP TO SEATTLE, WA DAY 1 Hotel Check in Renaissance Seattle Hotel, 1501 E Madison Street, Suite 150 Day 2 Living Building Challenge HQt, 1501 E Madison Street, Suite 150 Loom House, Bainbridge Island, WA, USA Heron Hall, Bainbridge Island, WA, USA Day 3 Perkins Seed Classroom, 9005 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115 Miller Hull Seattle Studio, 71 Columbia St 6th floor, Seattle, WA 98104 Bullitt Center, 501 E Madison Street, Suite 150 Bertschi Living Building Science Wing, 2227 10th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102 Day 4 Couger Mountain, 5410 194th Ave SE, Issaquah, WA 98027 DAY TRIP TO KNOXVILLE, IA DAY 1 Meet with representatives from City of Knoxville, IA Site visit to former VA Hospital site with Marion County representative Meet with local housing provider

Suggested course fee


Course fee justification

• Flights to Seattle, WA
• 3 nights hotel Seattle, WA
• Local transportation in Seattle, WA
• Transportation for day trip to Knoxville, IA

Teaching faculty name(s)

Julie Irish & Andrea Wheeler

All ISU Majors
  • Seniors and graduate students
Maximum enrollment