[screen displays PowerPoint slide that says A CAI Webinar: Neurodiversity, architecture, and universal design] 00:00:07:01 - 00:00:40:17 Anthony Pacilio Welcome, everyone to today's webinar, Neurodiversity, Architecture and Universal Design. My name is Anthony Pacilio, Vice President of Neurodiverse Solutions at CAI. I am neurodivergent myself. I have extreme social anxiety disorder and depression, which is kind of crazy since I'm the media and brand ambassador here at CAI Neurodiverse Solutions. But some additional responsibilities that I have are to help organizations build neurodiversity programs and to lead our global expansion efforts at CAI Neurodiverse Solutions. 00:00:41:13 - 00:01:06:11 Anthony My expertise lies in managing neurodiversity recruiting efforts, developing candidate pipelines, I should say, and ensuring best practices for onboarding, support, training, and organizational success. And a few things before we begin, I'd like to take a moment to go over some housekeeping items. If you have any questions to submit during the discussion, we ask that you use the Q&A feature found at the bottom bar of your Zoom app. 00:01:07:01 - 00:01:22:14 Anthony There's going to be a time at the end of the discussion that we will address as many questions as we can. In addition, you're going to find more information on the event in the chat box, so make sure you follow along with that as well. And lastly, I want to let you know that we're recording the session today for future viewing. [screen displays event agenda: 5 min introduction, 35 min discussion, 15 min Q&A, 5 min wrap up] 00:01:22:28 - 00:01:49:16 Anthony So first, let's take a brief look at today's agenda. You're going to see the estimates for the timing of each part of our discussion, and we'll be sharing these questions with you visually as well. And now let's move to today's guests. First, I’d like everyone to meet Kay Sargent. With 37 years of experience, Kay is a recognized expert on workplace design and strategy issues and an award-winning designer. [screen displays headshots, titles, and company logos for speakers] 00:01:49:25 - 00:02:13:04 Anthony She's a global co-director of HOK’s Workplace Team, sits on HOK’s board of directors and serves as an advisor for the Education Diversity Advisory Council. In addition, Kay is an active member of the International Facility Management Association and the co-founder of the IFMA’s workplace evolutionary. Welcome to you, Kay! 00:02:13:04 - 00:02:14:11 Kay Sargent Thank you. Good morning. 00:02:14:28 - 00:02:49:21 Anthony Good morning. And next up, let me introduce everyone to Rosa Colucci. Rosa is a national color educator and consultant for PPG Industries, specifically the architectural coatings sector. She teaches about the concepts of color to industry professionals, including designers, architects, and builders. Rosa personally specifies and develops color plans for residential, commercial, and mixed-use buildings, including office spaces, community spaces, historic churches, as well as educational spaces from preschool to colleges and universities. 00:02:49:29 - 00:03:15:25 Anthony There is a lot there. Welcome, Rosa, and thank you both for being with us here today. And we're going to get started right now. And just to kind of kick it off, you know, inclusive workspaces are created based on the concept of universal design, which ensures the configuration of an environment can be accessed, Understood, And used to the greatest extent by all. 00:03:16:03 - 00:03:47:01 Anthony So for someone to thrive in their career, having an accommodating and supportive workspace can fuel productivity and efficiency. So during today's 60 minute session, we'll explore what goes into designing and creating spaces that are inclusive for neurodivergent individuals. Some of the topics we'll discuss are how to begin implementing universal design, what goes into reducing sensory stimulation, addressing challenges in creating these workspaces, and the competitive advantage of integrating this concept. [screen displays a slide with Kay’s headshot, job title and company, and the question “How did you begin in your line of work and what does your day-to-day role entail at HOK?”] 00:03:47:20 - 00:04:08:02 Anthony So let's do this. Let's go to Kay first and start the discussion and just share how you got into your respective fields. So Kay is an expert on workplace design and overseeing the global workplace team at HOK. How do we get in this line of work and what does your day to day role entail? 00:04:08:26 - 00:04:45:02 Kay Yeah, so. Well, I've been a practicing designer for 37 years, so I got to go way back to think about how I got into this. But even, you know, when I was a kid, I was always drawing plans and designing spaces and just absolutely loved that. So I have been a practicing interior designer all that time. But I think our venture into this specific topic probably happened about six years ago when we were in a meeting with a client, and at the end of the meeting they said, oh yeah, by the way, how do you design a space for people that are ADHD or neurodiverse? 00:04:45:17 - 00:05:08:19 Kay And being a mother of five kids, I kind of had an okay answer to that, and I've designed a lot of K through 12 spaces, but I didn't have a great answer. So we started to do a ton of research that really led us to where we are today, which is publishing multiple reports, multiple videos, multiple articles and doing a lot of different research. 00:05:08:28 - 00:05:35:00 Kay And that blends into my role in at HOK because my day-to-day role is I am the co-director globally of workplace, which means that I work with our clients that have multiple projects in multiple locations all around the world. So I travel about 90% of the time and we have a lot of clients that have big portfolios of spaces and they want to know what is coming and what they need to be aware of. 00:05:35:00 - 00:05:55:16 Kay So we kind of see our goal as really exploring thought leadership, what's important. And of course, ESG and DEI initiatives are huge for most of our corporate clients today. So, I get to spend a lot of time talking to our clients about what's important to them and sharing the insights and the research that we're doing and helping them create great workspaces. 00:05:56:10 - 00:06:15:14 Anthony Well, you know, the other part of it, you mentioned you have five children. Yeah, I have one, which can be a lot of work. [crosstalk] But, you know, it potentially gives you a different perspective of how you look at things as well. Right. Because each child typically is a little different than the other. [crosstalk] 00:06:15:27 - 00:06:16:01 Kay Exactly. 00:06:16:01 - 00:06:20:24 Anthony Yeah. Maybe you bring into your work life what you see at home. 00:06:21:10 - 00:06:43:02 Kay Yeah. And I do have one son that is ADHD and is a little OCD. So you've got to kind of explore that with him. He's great at masking, so it wasn't diagnosed early on. But yeah, I think the other thing I would say is, listen, we're all impacted by the sensory process and we all deal with things a little bit differently. 00:06:43:14 - 00:06:55:22 Kay And since COVID, we all have a heightened sensitivity to our surroundings and not just people that are neurodiverse. So, what we're going to talk about today not only impacts people that are diverse, it impacts all of us. 00:06:57:06 - 00:07:16:17 Anthony I totally agree. Right? We're going to touch on universal design in a little bit as well. And so, Rosa kind of switching gears to yourself, interesting job title, National Color educator. Love it. By the way, can you share with us how you began your career in the space and what your day to day looks like? [screen displays a slide including Rosa’s headshot, job title, and company, and the question “How did you begin your career in the space and what does your day-to-day look like at PPG?"] 00:07:17:00 - 00:07:44:07 Rosa Collucci Well, I actually began my career probably it was 26 years ago now. I started out my career in journalism and covering color and design for the industry before anybody was really taking a look at it. When paint companies started talking about their color of the year and color palettes and tell their stories that they were telling. At that time, Paint companies really started recognizing the color forecasting was very important. 00:07:44:19 - 00:08:31:15 Rosa And so I made the jump from telling the story in a larger space in journalism to actually telling the story for PPG, who is the largest coatings manufacturer in the world. So it's been very interesting. My introduction into this particular space that we're talking about today came when I was asked to go and design some spaces for a summer camp here in Pittsburgh called The Woodlands, and they had a clientele that was coming to use their facilities that had lots of different neurodiverse diagnoses with the clients that were coming, and they ranged from five years old all the way up to adults in their thirties. 00:08:31:27 - 00:08:58:26 Rosa So they were having some issues with some of the camp spaces, and the colors I immediately recognized were not working for them. So I started doing some research and started writing about it and putting some things together for PPG with regard to palettes. And we made some changes in that space which really was just so effective finding great, calming colors, reducing contrast in the spaces, and it made a world of difference. 00:08:58:26 - 00:09:08:23 Rosa So that was my introduction to this, and I've been able to carry it forward with other universities and schools and spaces that I've gone to design since then. 00:09:09:25 - 00:09:25:04 Anthony Yeah, and I know you talked about, you know, the journalism space and did you find it a big departure, you know, going from, you know, I'm a mass media major myself, but was it a huge departure to go from that into what you do now? 00:09:25:21 - 00:09:54:21 Rosa Well, it was a huge departure in one way, because I'm really working hands on with customers and clients now. But, you know, I'm still telling the story of what we are doing with color. I'm just doing it in a more personal way. I'm naturally a storyteller. So being a color educator and talking about our color story and talking about our company and talking about color forecasting comes very naturally to me. 00:09:54:21 - 00:10:14:07 Rosa It's something I enjoy doing, but it is different because when you are one on one and people do have you, they really just want to, you know, talk to you about everything. So there are a lot of prongs coming out of me in a lot of ways. And I do find it a little bit challenging, too, to keep everything in the proper bucket when I'm working from day to day. 00:10:15:17 - 00:10:18:18 Rosa So it's challenging but rewarding still. 00:10:19:20 - 00:10:42:07 Anthony That's great. Yes. And I know people love to talk especially about what both of you do and Kay, we talked about universal design in our introduction, but in a use case scenario, can you explain how exactly universal design is compatible with supporting neurodivergent individuals in a in a workspace? [screen displays a slide with Kay’s headshot, job title, and company, and the question “In a use case scenario, can you explain how exactly universal design is compatible with supporting neurodivergent individuals in a workspace?”] 00:10:43:04 - 00:11:07:15 Kay Yeah. I think I mean, at the core universal design principles there really are seven and they're fundamentally geared to making all spaces more welcoming to any user that might be coming there. So whether it's making it spaces more intuitive, communicating information in a variety of ways or not, you know not everybody can read, not everybody speaks English, not everybody can see. 00:11:07:26 - 00:11:36:00 Kay And so it's really about making spaces, removing as many barriers as we can. [screen displays a slide with two office layouts and a dotted line across the screen. Left side says hypersensitive prefer environments with controlled stimuli and dislike environments with excessive stimuli such as bright lights, crowds, unfamiliar scents, textures, or temperature fluctuations. Right side says hyposensitive difficulty seeing, hearing, or feeling the acute sensory details in a given environment and need more sensory stimuli to successfully process information. Text box in the middle of the screen says some individuals are both hyposensitive to some sensory stimulation while being hypersensitive to others.] And I think this is really important because the World Health Organization has changed the definition of what constitutes a disability and it basically is when a person with an impairment or a challenge is met with an environment that doesn't, isn’t supportive, that creates the disability. 00:11:36:00 - 00:12:14:02 Kay So the onus is on the environment. And what we know is that we all have different sensory thresholds as well and we all react differently to sound or light or color patterns or any of those things. But people that are neurodiverse tend to have a more extreme reaction to that and they can tend to be hypersensitive, meaning they get overwhelmed with that kind of stimulation and they need things that are simpler and for less stimulation, maybe, or simpler patterns, lighter and more neutral colors, clean, orderly, less background noise, more barriers, to kind of feel comfortable. 00:12:14:02 - 00:12:39:06 Kay But you also have people that are hyposensitive, people that are hyposensitive. Actually, they need more stimulation to function. They need spaces that might have brighter color palettes or more textures where they can physically engage in the space. They tend to be maybe kinetic learners, where they have to engage physically with the environment. They might have to listen to music, where they need to move or fidget to really be able to process information. 00:12:39:06 - 00:13:06:13 Kay And so the challenge is understanding that we have a whole mix of hyper and hypo. Some people are a blend of both, and we need to create environments where people can navigate to the types of spaces that best meet their needs in the most seamless way possible, removing as many barriers as possible. That's really when we start to address and create spaces that are accessible to all. 00:13:08:02 - 00:13:36:22 Anthony Love that, you know? And now, as I probably am on the hypersensitive side here, you know, personal journey is large crowds, noise, at a recent concert, you know, thousands of people, music bouncing off the walls, you know, architecture design in general. You know, what do the walls and the soundproofing what is it like? What's that the walls made of? 00:13:36:23 - 00:13:59:02 Anthony Right. That's part of what you do as well in trying to figure that out. So I can appreciate that. Definitely. And I think obviously we're moving to such an inclusive world that all of these things will be taken into consideration. And just as it's built into the DNA of when you build the building. So I hope, you know, HOK 00:13:59:02 - 00:14:04:11 Anthony And you Kay continue to do that, that good work. So yeah, I definitely appreciate that. 00:14:05:01 - 00:14:24:10 Kay Yeah. I think what we also know is that, you know, people have we have our intelligence, we have our emotional intelligence, but we also have our sensory intelligence. And most people are not very well in tune with their own personal sensory intelligence and don't even in many cases know what their triggers are. They just know instinctively they don't feel comfortable in their space. 00:14:24:10 - 00:14:32:08 Kay Or they may not like it, but they don't understand the real root cause of all of that. And a lot of that is our sensory intelligence. 00:14:32:08 - 00:14:56:03 Anthony Yes. And I think we're going to talk a little bit about sensory challenges in a bit here. And, Rosa, in your role working with architectural coatings, how would you describe the approach? You know, trying to incorporate certain colors that support the concept of universal design for neurodivergent employees? 00:14:56:20 - 00:15:26:01 [slide displays Rosa’s headshot, job title, and company, and the question “How would you describe the approach to incorporate certain colors that support the concept of universal design for neurodivergent employees?”] Rosa Well, that's a very interesting question because every year we release our color forecast and we release a color of the year. And a lot of those choices are driven by what is happening in the world. What are people choosing, what are the choices they're making with regard to the cars that they're driving, the technology that they're bringing into their house, whether it be plants, softer design, you see design changing. [screen displays a slide with three color panels. Left panel reads serenity a design theme that reflects on our relationship with ourselves and our need for sanctuary and calm. Middle panel reads Origin a design theme that expands on our evolving relationships with the environment. Right panel reads Duality a design theme that celebrates the dynamics of our relationships with each other and how we show ourselves to the world.] 00:15:26:01 - 00:15:55:28 Rosa And so it is really a two way street. So we tell our color story, which you can see up here for 2023, we have a Serenity design theme, we have origin and duality. And when I look at these three designs and forecasting stories and overlay them with what Kay is doing, it is totally on point because duality is really keying into the hyposensitive group and serenity is keying into the hypersensitive. 00:15:55:28 - 00:16:17:18 Rosa I hope I got that correct there. But it's really important because it's that's what's being driven. And on the next slide, you'll see some of the colors. [screen displays a slide with vining ivy color and three photos of an office, a bathroom, and a toy room] We chose Vining Ivy for our Color of the year for 2023. Now this is a color that people were gravitating to. All of our clients are gravitating to. You see people putting it all on social media. 00:16:17:23 - 00:16:35:22 Rosa So when we were looking at what was bubbling up to the surface for the year, this is the color that we drilled down that was really going to be the color that people were keying into. A few years ago we had a very calm blue, but now people are pulling green into this because they really want to be more connected with nature. 00:16:35:29 - 00:17:13:29 Rosa So we chose this color as enchanting, rejuvenating and versatile. And it is a very calming color. So it's very interesting. One more slide before we move forward. We have our entire palette for 2023 [screen displays 5 rows and 9 columns of PPG colors] and you can see a lot of these colors now, very calm, very relaxing. We really don't have a lot of bright whites in there and we don't have a lot of cold grays, which we were seeing about four or five years ago, because people are just really so much more sensitive in general, like the pandemic, being in their homes. 00:17:13:29 - 00:17:24:14 Rosa They just kind of need to dial it down, but they still need some level of stimulation. So we've really seen the palette move as a response to what is happening in society. 00:17:24:14 - 00:17:54:12 Anthony All right. So I'm staring at all of the colors and I’m in the middle of purchasing a home. [laughter] And I already know that a few of these colors are going on the wall. These are absolutely awesome. So, you know, for those that are just listening in, this palette is for myself is extremely soothing. And they're not like in-your-face colors, but they do have some pop to them as well. 00:17:54:12 - 00:18:19:20 Anthony So I think, you know, wow, what a great palette. So, Rosa, you and I will talk after about from. [crosstalk] Going to have a lot of that to do anyways. So this is awesome. So Kay, can you share with us some of the maybe the design aspects or combinations your team incorporates in order to reduce that sensory stimulation? [slide displays Kay’s headshot, job title, and company and the question “What certain design aspects or accommodations does your team incorporate in order to reduce sensory stimulation for neurodivergent individuals?”] 00:18:21:03 - 00:18:41:09 Kay Yeah. So I think it, I think it all goes back to what kind of work are you doing. And in our research we really have identified kind of these six modalities of work that really show what the average person is thinking about. [slide shows a chart titled Modalities of Work / The 6C’s with a dotted line from top to bottom on the left side. Top of the line says hypersensitive and bottom of the line says hyposensitive. Across the middle says space types. Concentrate/focus, commune/process, create, congregate/meet/learn, contemplate/refresh, convivial/social. Drawings of office spaces are above each space type.] So you might be concentrating, you might be doing processing work, meeting, you know, you're answering emails or you're doing something that you could do kind of in a group setting. 00:18:41:22 - 00:19:08:02 Kay You're creating, your congregating, you're contemplating or thinking or refreshing, and then you're being social. So those are the six modalities of work. And depending on what industry you're in or what your job is, you could be doing a lot of one thing and not so much of another, etc. So A it's understanding what you're doing. Then it's about making sure that we provide settings that are hypersensitive and hyposensitive. 00:19:08:02 - 00:19:33:22 Kay So let me just kind of walk you through one of the examples here. If you start on the left on concentrate, a lot of companies now have phone rooms or phone booths that people can go into so that they can limit the visual distractions, the acoustical distractions that they might be having in that space. But if you take someone that is hyposensitive with a lot of energy in their body that needs engaging, you put them in that small, confined space, they're literally going to be bouncing off the walls. 00:19:34:03 - 00:19:55:15 Kay And so they might need a space that’s off to the side that has some fidget furniture or something that they can write on the wall. A little bit of screening, but not really boxed in. And then not only do we need to understand what you're doing and create that hypo and hyper version, but then we need to leverage the principles and the elements of design to create great spaces. 00:19:55:15 - 00:20:16:29 Kay So let's talk about the elements of design. So lighting and materiality and color and texture, all of those things. So let's just say color, if I take that, booth that I've designed to allow somebody who is hyper sensitive to be able to control that stimulation. But then I decide, you know what? I want that to be this fun space. 00:20:16:29 - 00:20:43:04 Kay So I put in a really bright color with a crazy pattern in there. I literally just short circuited, the person that I've designed that space for. So we have to be really, really intentional about how we're using and applying all of those elements of design to create great experiences. And if you go to the opposite side of this in social spaces, you might want to have bigger, bolder, brighter things. 00:20:43:04 - 00:21:07:23 Kay You might want to have a different acoustic level, you might want to have spaces right in the middle where people can congregate. But then spaces off to the side. If I'm a wall flower or more introverted or more hyper sensitive, I can go over there and I can have a little bit of a buffer or I can control a little bit more about how deeply I want to engage not only with other people, but kind of the sensory experience in that environment. 00:21:08:04 - 00:21:32:26 Kay So it's really, really important that we apply not only the art of design, but truly embrace the science of design. I would argue that there was not a single decision that I make in how I design a space that is left up to chance or arbitrary or has anything to do with what you or I might like. It has to do with what will work for you, what will be more human centric. 00:21:33:03 - 00:21:40:17 Kay And what will make you the most functional person that you can be in the environment that we're designing for. [slide displays a dotted line from top to bottom. Top of the line says hypersensitive, bottom of the line says hyposensitive. Across the middle is an office sketch with highlighted areas for concentrate, contemplate, create, commune/process, congregate, and convivial/social with pictures of real offices above and below each word.] 00:21:40:17 - 00:22:12:26 Anthony So. So I have a question for you. Sure. A little curve ball. So we are designing spaces and you're working with a you know, a company who's building a building? Does it extend the time to design and build that building by doing these amazing, wonderful things? Or is it still within the constraints and timeframes that, you know, the buildings going up and what, you know, project management? 00:22:12:26 - 00:22:30:00 Kay So, Anthony, I would argue it actually saves you time and money because doing it wrong just means you keep going around and around in a circle and you can't make a decision. But when we can articulate to our clients that why we made the decisions that we made and educate them about that. Then they're like, I get it right. 00:22:30:00 - 00:22:50:05 Kay So, for instance, the plan that you're seeing right now, we know that when people are coming back, they need to do a variety of work, but people are feeling a loss, a sense of isolation, maybe increasing anxiety, and they don't feel that same connectiveness. So creating neighborhoods where people can go and they can kind of have a limited expanse. 00:22:50:05 - 00:23:13:18 Kay Right. And the science of design tells us that people connect better in small group settings of about six and in about 48 group dynamics change. So we try to create neighborhoods. Depending on what you do, they might be smaller, but mostly no more than about 48. And then in those neighborhoods, we want to create those six modalities and we want to create that hyper and hypo version. 00:23:13:26 - 00:23:34:20 Kay And then we need to think about spatial sequencing and zoning. So quiet spaces on the left, they might be a little bit more calming color palettes, a little bit different acoustic level. And then as you go towards the middle, you get a little bit more energy or buzz. You might have a little bit more pops of color, you might have a different acoustic level. 00:23:34:20 - 00:24:01:00 Kay And on the far right you have those social spaces you might want bigger, bolder movements and graphics or punches of color or texture. You might want a higher acoustic level so people can laugh and joke without feeling like they're bothering people. The problem comes when I take something from that white bucket, that red bucket, and I dump it right in the middle of those spaces where people are supposed to be working. 00:24:01:03 - 00:24:19:11 Kay And this is happening all the time. Our clients are saying, well, you know, we're coming to the office to gather, so let's create more gather spaces and let's just put it right there in the middle of that space where people are trying to do individual work. And let's just hope that there isn't a conflict. But we know that there probably will be, right. 00:24:19:11 - 00:24:30:04 Kay And so we need to be much more intelligent about how we're creating the spaces, where we're creating the spaces, the elements of the spaces and how it sequence and how it flows in the space. 00:24:31:24 - 00:24:49:07 Anthony Yeah, this is this is just not throwing a blueprint on the wall and going, I want desk over here and desk over there, there, there is a there is a built-in mechanics in a, in a design that makes this all work together in kind of symbiotic way and I love that, you know. 00:24:49:12 - 00:25:17:04 Kay So let me just give you a quick analogy if I can. [crosstalk] I'm going to make you a beautiful dinner. You Rosa and I are going to have dinner together and I'm going to make you the most amazing, like Wagyu beef steak. And I'm going to pick the freshest broccoli and the most amazing au gratin potatoes, and then I'm going to make this delicious chocolate cake that I'm going to serve to you. And right before I serve it to you, 00:25:17:04 - 00:25:46:18 Kay I say, oh, wait, there's one last thing. I dump it into a blender, hit puree, pour it into a cup and hand it to you. Is that the same experience as that delicious meal that I had initially prepared for you? And so if our clients are just throwing all these elements in together and pureeing it into the space, you're never going to have those unique individual experiences that people are really need to be able to thrive in their workplaces. 00:25:46:19 - 00:25:58:23 Kay So we need to tell people, Stop blending everything stop over blending it and let different areas and different spaces have their own unique flavor so that you really get the best of everything. 00:25:59:19 - 00:26:27:10 Anthony Now that I'm absolutely starving at this point for the whole steak and broccoli and chocolate cake. So, you know, and if I think back to 20, 25 years ago when everybody was in, you know, cube farms and all that good stuff and everybody's next to each other, it has come such a long way right. Now we have bent seating, which we're kind of showing here. 00:26:27:10 - 00:26:46:06 Anthony When did the switch flip for everybody to say, you know what, we may not be doing this the right way and we need to start to be a little bit more inclusive in how we design the spaces. Was there any particular point in time where or was it just organic and it just moved? 00:26:46:23 - 00:27:04:06 Kay No, we've always chased trends and one of my least favorite questions and when clients say what's the latest benchmarks or what is somebody else doing? Okay, you at my client asking me what Google is doing is the equivalent of me waking up every morning and saying, I wonder what Beyonce is wearing today. I'm going to wear that and I'm going to be Beyonce. 00:27:04:12 - 00:27:20:02 Kay You're not, you know, and I think we need to be realistic. Clients need to look at themselves and understand who they are and create spaces that are crafted to them. And often these trends just get away from us. You know, London ran out of space 20 years ago. They had to go to densification and they had to go to bench. 00:27:20:08 - 00:27:47:10 Kay But tell somebody in Texas that they got to sit on a bench because London ran out of space 20 years ago. It just doesn't make sense. And even now we're moving away from benching to creating, whether it's harvest tables where people can come together for more meaningful engagements, but then also have the ability to sit in spaces that might give them a little bit more shielding or a little bit more buffer to other people that might be in the space to provide those different layers. 00:27:47:10 - 00:28:13:04 Kay So we're introducing a greater variety of solutions into the workspace. But again, it all comes down to what are you doing, what kind of work are you, what are the challenges that you're having? And it really is about coming up with a tailored suit. The challenge Anthony, is that for years people tried to design the workspace for the average person doing the average thing. 00:28:13:04 - 00:28:34:10 Kay But I defy anybody to tell me who is that average person and what is that average thing? And by trying to be average, you know, benchmarks are the best way to get to average. I don't think any of our clients want to be average. You know, I want to wear something that showcases who I am and be in spaces that allow me to flourish. 00:28:34:10 - 00:28:53:23 Kay And so we need to stop trying to oversimplify this. We need to stop chasing trends and benchmarks, and we need to have a much deeper understanding of who are we designing for, what are they doing, and then apply that science of design to come to the right solution for that client. 00:28:54:24 - 00:29:15:17 Anthony I love it. I am on the bus with you going in the same direction. I absolutely love it. And then all right, let's talk about colors. So, Rosa, in your area of expertise, you know what color palettes best support reducing some of the sensory stimulation for a Neurodiverse team? [slide displays Rosa’s headshot, job title and company and the question “In your area of expertise, what specific color palettes would best support reducing sensory stimulation for a neurodiverse team?”] 00:29:16:25 - 00:29:43:18 Rosa Well, I was looking at this and I did pull our essential neutrals palette for 2023. And here is what we have. [slide displays a picture of an indoor/outdoor living space on the left and an outdoor living space on the right. The middle panel includes 3 rows and 4 columns of PPG’s essential neutrals color palette.] One of the things you can notice that is trending a lot, and this is residential design you are seeing right now. But what I have seen change a lot in the past four years before the pandemic to now, and I have to say four years because I'm looking ahead one year and behind one year before the pandemic. 00:29:43:28 - 00:30:09:12 Rosa Then we had that two year pandemic hot area. You see a lot of contrast being reduced, interior and exterior, just getting rid of a lot of visual lines, a lot of visual static accenting windows, accenting trim, that's all just going to one solid color and you're going to see a lot more of that in residential design as well as commercial design. 00:30:10:03 - 00:30:35:18 Rosa And as I was listening to Kay talk about what triggered this and she was talking about in London and space, I have found that a lot in residential design that people went and they moved into these open concept houses and they were just like, Oh my God, this is so great. Everybody's together, everybody's together. And then they found that the spaces isn’t functioning for them, everything is together and everything is a nightmare and everything is a mess. 00:30:35:18 - 00:30:57:05 Rosa The kids toys are in every single room. Everybody's eating in every single room. Nobody is accomplishing anything and people are stressed out. So when I was going into a lot of my clients houses and talking to them about what was happening, what I started to do was using color to define spaces to automatically pull the children into a corner. 00:30:57:10 - 00:31:23:27 Rosa Just by using color in that corner. They would automatically be drawn to that space, and that's where they would want to play and function and have their own little world, which it's a smaller version of what Kay is doing in the office. But just by making those types of decisions and taking those open concept spaces which have no defined walls, lines or function, now making them have the function that they need. 00:31:23:27 - 00:31:47:00 Rosa So that is one thing. And here is a commercial environment that we're seeing for 2023 very, very different than what we've been seeing in the past four years. [slide displays Commercial environments 3 palette. More moody and mercurial, blues and muted purple tones pair with rounded and rippling forms to evoke water references. Below the description is a column of 7 colors from the palette. Photos of restaurant, office, and residential space are to the right of the colors.] You see a lot of really soft colors here. You see a lot of contrast being reduced. Everything is just really meant to just calm you down, let you take a breath, let you have some personal reflection. 00:31:47:00 - 00:32:12:21 Rosa As you can see here in this restaurant with these mirrors, even though you're reflecting back here on this particular palette, it's a very calm scene that you are seeing. So I'm really enjoying the moody and the mercurial that we are, you know, pulling for 2023. And this is what our clients are looking for. I go into houses and offices and they're pulling these soft lavenders and they're saying, this is what I want. 00:32:12:21 - 00:32:37:13 Rosa This is what I'm trying to put into my space, because that's what makes them feel good. So great palettes to work with and great colors. You can see even our white here on the left are the colored gypsum. It is not a pure white. We're reducing all of that contrast. Very important to note also the ceiling in two of these images you're seeing, they're actually reflecting the sky. 00:32:37:14 - 00:33:02:23 Rosa So you see a light bright sky in this hospital space. And studies have shown that when you have color that are colors that are wellness, it actually reduces the need for pain medication up to 40%. So just that lowering of your emotional temperature helps you heal. And a lot of hospitals are recognizing that as well. So these are some of the colors you could just pull. [slide displays a panel on the right that says Origin the natural and the cosmic intercept in this well-balanced palette. To the right are 4 rows and 5 columns of colors from the palette.] 00:33:03:20 - 00:33:25:06 Rosa And last but not least, the origin concept is really what we're looking at now, where our everyone is just really trying to pull themselves closer to the earth. So in the past few years, we've been looking at plants and plants are very important, but we are having a greater knowledge of what is happening to the Earth at its core. 00:33:25:13 - 00:33:46:22 Rosa And this is being driven a lot by global warming. So we are looking at, okay, what is making a healthy earth. So we want to see healthy ground, healthy forest, healthy dirt, which sounds silly, but it's not because we don't want our forests to be burned. We want our forest dirt to be healthy and rich and brown. 00:33:46:22 - 00:34:11:05 Rosa So these colors that we're looking at are at a really a deeper level, what's going on with our biophilic design. And it's a beautiful palette, very saturated, and also calls back to a time where we have a lot of classic colors and gives us maybe calm that we were remembering from when we were children and there's a historic type of tie into that too, that gives us a sense of wellness. 00:34:12:00 - 00:34:36:00 Anthony So there's two things that I get out of this. One, there's probably 90% of the people on this webinar are going who who's the person that gets to name all the colors? Because I want that job. And there's probably going to be an influx of people painting their homes at this moment, right? So I'm actually serious, Rosa, who names these things. 00:34:36:00 - 00:34:58:00 Rosa So the colors are named anywhere from members of the color team, which I am. We put color names forward. We've also had contests to name colors. We have a color in our palette called gobbledygook. It's this really deep, rich, green. And that was named by a kindergartner. He looked at it and he's like gobbledygook. We're like, That's perfect. 00:34:58:05 - 00:35:17:24 Rosa So children have an innate sense of just looking at something, and they're not constrained by what they think it should be. They just feel what it is. And the other thing with naming colors, which a lot of people may or may not realize is that you don't just name a color. You have to look at historic color palettes through all paint companies. 00:35:18:04 - 00:35:36:26 Rosa You have to make sure that the color is not a trademarked or very well known in another paint company. So there's a lot of legalities involved. We've come up with some great names, and then we’re like, Oops, can't use that. That color is used in X, Y, Z palette ten years ago, and it's still a very strong color. So we can't bring that forward. 00:35:38:01 - 00:35:59:10 Rosa So it's really fun. And we've had to also rename a lot of colors in our palette as we have been working forward to make names more inclusive. So just as a lot of sports teams have had to rename their nicknames of their teams, we've also had to pull some names out of our palette and rename them as well. 00:35:59:10 - 00:36:10:12 Rosa So it's a challenging job. And honestly, as much as I like throwing the names out there and, in my heart, I'm a writer and a storyteller, I'm glad that there are a lot of other people that help with this job. 00:36:11:13 - 00:36:15:16 Anthony Well, that's awesome. So, you know if you ever need help, just call me. 00:36:15:16 - 00:36:20:11 Rosa I will. I'll send colors next time we're going to be on summer ballot, so. Yes. All right. 00:36:21:01 - 00:36:45:00 Anthony That is great. Well, so, you know, growing pains, right? [slide displays Kay’s headshot, job title and company and the question “What types of challenges may organizations face when creating an inclusive workspace with universal design in mind? In addition to this, how does the remote work setting come into play?”] So like anything new concepts have those growing pains of, so Kay, what types of challenges we're going to do organizations face when creating an inclusive workspace with universal design in mind? And I guess the second part of that is, you know, how does a remote work setting come into play? 00:36:45:00 - 00:37:05:09 Kay I think it's even just getting started. So first of all, I can't tell you how many times people have said so what do you mean we're designing spaces that are sexist or racist or not inclusive or whatever? And it's like the answer to that question is yes, not intentionally, but we are because we're not seeing other people's perspective. 00:37:05:25 - 00:37:26:04 Kay And then it's a matter of, well, I don't even understand this. Right. And then what does it even mean and where would I even start? So there’s a whole series of just of resetting somebody’s mindset to even be open to this conversation, to understand what it means and to go down this path that, that quite frankly, most people get stuck there. 00:37:26:15 - 00:37:47:13 Kay They can't even get beyond that. And there's a lot of people that say the right thing, but they're not really doing anything because they don't know how to do it. And so for us, it really is about educating our clients about A why are we talking about this, why it's important, what do some of these terms even mean? 00:37:47:24 - 00:38:14:25 Kay And then opening up their eyes to help them understand something through somebody else's viewpoint or perspective. And then once they have that aha moment and are willing to receive the information, then we got to educate them about that. And so it's a multi-step process to kind of even just get off the starting block. Truly, that's the biggest obstacle. 00:38:14:25 - 00:38:35:07 Anthony And so the the remote piece is there any additional things with remote working that you know, that you've seen or you've had to kind of digest, go back and go like it may not work? 00:38:35:27 - 00:39:04:04 Kay Yeah, I mean, look, I think different people have different experiences, number one. So for some people, the ability to work remotely is a godsend. [inaudible] They're self-starters, they're organized, but they get overwhelmed in environments or maybe they just can't, you know, they, they have other issues and circumstances that prohibit them from going to an office for nine or 10 hours a day or, you know, whatever that might be. For other individuals, 00:39:04:16 - 00:39:27:19 Kay It's the kiss of death, you know, they need and thrive off of that social interaction. They need direction. They feel isolated, they feel alone. They can’t get off the starting block. They cannot manage themselves. And so it's really, really important that we truly sit here and start to address how do we create environments where everybody can be successful. 00:39:27:29 - 00:39:30:18 Kay And different options for different people. 00:39:31:05 - 00:39:53:22 Anthony Yeah. Yeah. And I think the options is, is the the biggest piece of that. You know, obviously for the beginning of time, everything was typically going into a workspace with a lot of other people and that has obviously shifted probably more so in the past couple of years. So it's great that we're figuring out what those balances may be. 00:39:53:24 - 00:40:09:07 Anthony And I guess flipping to Rosa, how do you suggest organizations overcome challenges that are affiliated with designing, creating these workspaces? [slide displays Rosa’s headshot, job title, and company and the question “How would you suggest organizations overcome challenges affiliated with designing and creating these workspaces? Do you have advice for those with teams who work remotely?”] And kind of the same question on the remote piece, right. Any advice for those teams who work remotely? 00:40:09:22 - 00:40:35:11 Rosa Well, it's very interesting because I see a lot of the remote work from the residential side as well. So I end up going into client spaces and they are working remotely. And one of the things that I end up doing is having a conversation with them about how often are they home? Are they feeling that they’re successful being at home, they try to multitask with their spaces. 00:40:35:11 - 00:40:57:27 Rosa It's the kitchen. It's the space where they're working. So I do have these conversations with them to say, Is this working? And if it's not, then let's find a way that it works. So maybe it is more about moving them into another room. Definitely changing some paint colors, reorienting some furniture, and they're talking to them about how that works and making them successful. 00:40:58:25 - 00:41:21:18 Rosa As far as designing and creating the workspaces, we do have a lot of conversation about color because workspaces and as Kay knows, the offices, they're inviting everyone back. So we now have this three two hybrid work situation where people are in the office Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, working from home Monday and Friday, and everyone's talking now about going to a four day workweek. 00:41:21:18 - 00:41:41:21 Rosa So I think we're going to see even another shift. So I really do talk to my clients about what this space is going to be used for when they're putting conference rooms together, when they're putting together spaces, they feel that everybody should be so happy to come back to. I talked to them about why and what they're trying to accomplish. 00:41:41:21 - 00:42:12:04 Rosa So I really do think that before they put the money into doing a renovation, painting out a space, they really think about how they want that space to function, who is going to be using that space? What is the goal of the teams that are coming in to use that space? Are they team members that need to work collaboratively or are they team members that just need to have a desk to come in and get their work done and another thing we haven't talked about is how the workplace itself has changed. 00:42:12:19 - 00:42:42:24 Rosa You know, 15 years ago there was that managerial level where you wanted to see your employees and make sure that everybody was working. And now that, you know, remote working has taken hold as a result of the pandemic, everyone has learned that people are still getting their job done. So there has been a whole mindset and a shift that has had to occur at a managerial level for those that are managing employees and to develop a level of trust with those employees that they are working. 00:42:42:24 - 00:42:57:28 Rosa So bringing them back. A lot of employees also have a challenge with saying, hey, I was getting my work done at home, I really don't need to be here. So, there's a lot of conversation that has to happen and what is the goal? And I think the conversation is the most important thing right now. 00:42:57:28 - 00:43:01:10 Kay So let me give you the flipside to that if I may. 00:43:01:28 - 00:43:02:13 Rosa Yes. 00:43:03:08 - 00:43:21:28 Kay So the flip side to that is that I think we ask people a really dumb question and sorry to say this, but there is such a thing as a stupid question. And one of the things we asked is, what do you want? And I think people thought about what do I personally want? I didn't necessarily think about what was right for their career or their mental health or their sanity. 00:43:21:28 - 00:43:49:16 Kay They didn't think about what was right for their coworkers or they didn't think about what was right for the health of their organization. And bosses are getting a really bad rap right now because they go to bed every night worrying about whether the company will even survive and will they be able to mentor and share that information. And there's a lot of side effects about working remotely that people aren't considering about proximity bias, about the fact that women and minorities want to do it more so than men. 00:43:49:19 - 00:44:14:26 Kay So that's going to that's going to derail a lot of initiatives as far as equity and diversity about the culture and impact of the culture. There's a lot of things and just because we're productive at home, it comes at a cost. We're burning people out because they're working longer hours with no relieve, and the quality of what is being produced is dropping because we're spending 252% more time on Zoom calls. 00:44:15:10 - 00:44:45:11 Kay And when we're on those Zoom calls, 90% of people are multitasking, which means they're not doing either thing really good. And what nobody wants to tell you is that there are serious consequences. So there's some people, individual researchers, salespeople. You might be a perfect candidate to work remotely, but there's a whole lot of other individuals that it is, either from a personality standpoint, from a infrastructure standpoint, from a what you do as a job standpoint. 00:44:45:11 - 00:45:07:03 Kay It is not successful. And for people that are in their forties and fifties to say we can all do this great is discounting the fact that the younger generation doesn't have the same infrastructure, they don't have the same social network, they don't have the same setup, they don't have the same access, they don't have the same tenure, they don't have that and they are suffering because of that. 00:45:07:10 - 00:45:14:28 Kay And I think there's a there's a there's two sides of this. And we need to meet in the middle and find the right balance. 00:45:14:28 - 00:45:47:12 Anthony And I think, you know, sometimes it also depends on job function, you know, what that job entails. And it does obviously depend on the individual themselves and what they actually need to do their jobs. And I think I think, you know, my last question for both of you is what would you say the competitive advantage may be for organizations who are integrating a universal design concept in optimizing their workspaces? [slide displays Kay and Rosa’s headshots, job titles, and companies and the question “What would you say the competitive advantage may be for organizations who are integrating the universal design concept in optimizing their workspaces?”] 00:45:49:05 - 00:46:12:24 Kay Well, I think there's several things. I mean, first of all, people that are neurodiverse, 65% of people on the neurodiverse spectrum tend to have above average intelligence. The challenge is that we're not creating environments where they can be successful. And so they're struggling and it's like putting a freshwater fish in salt water. And if we create better environments where they can be more successful, then they can really thrive. 00:46:12:24 - 00:46:47:17 Kay And there's companies like SAP and Microsoft that have shown that this individual is going to be 140 times percent more productive because they have that super focus. They can find issues in code, they can be incredibly out-of-the-box thinkers. They can have a high capacity for innovation. So there's a tremendous amount of skill set that they bring. If we can create environments that really tap into the benefits and the superpowers and the advantages that that diverse group brings. 00:46:49:03 - 00:46:51:05 Anthony And Rosa same question to you. 00:46:51:14 - 00:47:15:10 Rosa Well, I think, you know, in a nutshell, they're going to be more successful and they're going to have less employee turnover. I think employees want to be heard and they want to have a workspace that is working for them for their work life balance for all the things that matter in their life. And when you have unhappy employees, they leave. 00:47:15:19 - 00:47:39:03 Rosa And that costs companies a lot of money. Companies invest tremendous amount of monetary and human capital resources into training their employees. You just can't have someone just step in and do that job. It's not as easy as everybody thinks it is. It's a lot of work. And so you're just going to be more successful at the end of the day. 00:47:39:12 - 00:47:58:12 Rosa And also, if you feel like you're heard, you're going to also want to stay where you are and you're not going to be tempted to leave. And if you're happy, you might actually bring other employees to the company. So you make just a better successful space all the way around. Also, there's more productivity, a lot less wasted time. 00:47:58:19 - 00:48:13:10 Rosa Work is done more efficiently and it's a better quality product for whatever it is you are you're putting out there, whether it be creative or technical or just really, really important to put that together. 00:48:14:29 - 00:48:40:12 Anthony That's incredible. You know, and I appreciate you both sharing all of your knowledge and expertise with us today. I think we get to the the fun part. [slide displays Audience Q&Q] We've allotted some time for the audience to submit their own questions for our guest today. And we're going to begin with a question for Rosa. Would you discuss the impact of colorblindness on work? 00:48:40:21 - 00:48:58:09 Anthony And it kind of keeps going here, says, my first understanding of neurodiversity and work was with a colorblind employee who was afraid he was to be fired if he told us so. I think the colorblindness question is for you Rosa. 00:48:58:09 - 00:49:37:22 Rosa With colorblindness, I have encountered that most in the in the residential setting. Basically, a lot of mostly men are colorblind, and they have different levels of colorblindness whenever this is an issue. And they're just seeing contrast from light to dark. So they definitely when they encounter me, if they're the person that is tasked with choosing color and I've had this happen, they're like, you need to talk to my significant other, or you need to talk to whoever their stand in person is, because they will tell me flat out that they have an issue with colorblindness. 00:49:38:01 - 00:49:59:24 Rosa I think the most important thing is to make sure that you're just honest about it. I don't think it's an issue that holds you back from your job. You've learned to adjust for whatever it is you're doing to be successful and to reach where you've reached in your in your life. So I just say be honest. I don't think it's a barrier. 00:50:00:03 - 00:50:03:28 Rosa Just make sure that you're not the person that they have choosing the office colors and you'll be okay. 00:50:04:22 - 00:50:18:04 Anthony I gotcha. [crosstalk] Yeah. No, no, absolutely. I appreciate it. Kay, this questions for you. What's your favorite part about working in this space? And do you have a specific example that you can point to? 00:50:19:05 - 00:50:50:15 Kay I mean, I well, if HOK would pay me to space plan all day, I would do that because I absolutely love it. But I love creating kind of those gathering spaces that are those amenity spaces where everybody can kind of come together. And I think maybe the best opportunity for innovation right now is in conference rooms and meeting rooms, because for decades we've just created the largest rectangular shell, the biggest rectangular table with a maximum number of chairs and put it in a glass box and call it a day. 00:50:50:25 - 00:51:18:23 Kay And that has never cut it and it doesn't cut it now. And so we have the opportunity to really create amazing gathering spaces that are more fit to purpose, whether it's in a client showcase or whether it's an innovation hub or whether it's a presentation room or a learning room. And so really kind of treating those almost like it's a stage and we're bringing in the props that will support that activity and create those great spaces. 00:51:19:13 - 00:51:46:21 Anthony Gotcha and we continue to get some questions in here, I know we're probably going to have a couple more here, so I think this one is for Kay. We're sticking with color here says with individuals who are visually impaired and use key colors at times to separate rooms, I really like the color changes for rooms. Is there any studies on this and how to blend colors for individuals who have physical disabilities? 00:51:46:21 - 00:52:15:07 Kay Yeah. So I would say that in our research I talked about those six modalities of work and what we know in those six modalities of work is that different colors can support different types of activities and the color can actually even help signal what the intent of those rooms are. [inaudible] Color is an amazing tool that can help in wayfinding it can help in setting the mood in space. 00:52:15:07 - 00:52:41:08 Kay It can help in people understanding just even what's supposed to happen. So we tend to really use color to its fullest potential whenever we can with our clients. In a lot of cases, clients say this is our corporate color, this is what we want to use, use that throughout right, but places that we can introduce some accents and some things we can get really creative about the types of solutions that we're bringing to people today. 00:52:42:01 - 00:52:45:27 Anthony And Rosa, anything to add on that one? 00:52:45:27 - 00:53:11:06 Rosa Well, depending on the space you're designing. When I was working with The Woodlands, I used color not only for wayfinding, but for a safety zone, because there were a lot of clients that were coming in that were nonverbal. And so they were able to recognize that whenever they needed help, they could go to that color. So we introduced that color not only as a cabin leader. 00:53:11:06 - 00:53:29:09 Rosa So any anybody that was wearing that color was a person they could go to for help if they had needed any help anywhere the color was painted on the wall, they could go there. So that was just a learning tool and a wayfinding tool and a safety tool in a situation where, you know, we had to find other ways to communicate. 00:53:29:20 - 00:53:39:22 Rosa So I just think that color is very important. Like with wayfinding and also with identifying the spaces and how they're going to be used. 00:53:39:22 - 00:53:59:13 Anthony It's great. And now we have another question for Kay, was there ever time where a client had to make less short-term profit as a result of constructing a more inclusive environment? And there's kind of a second piece of this in that situation. Would you say the benefits gained were worth it in the long term? 00:54:01:08 - 00:54:23:19 Kay So I'm going to start with the last question. So first of all, if you design appropriately from the beginning, it shouldn't cost more money. If you don't and you have to retrofit it, then it's probably going to cost you some money. But the challenge is that not designing well has a significant impact on not just people that are neurodiverse but everybody. 00:54:23:19 - 00:54:45:00 Kay So if I put people in an environment where they are short circuited because they're overly distracted or it’s crazy noise or there's just visual chaos and clutter, everybody's productivity and their ability to function and their mental health will suffer because of that. And you may not see the immediate result of that, but that that actually will have an impact over time. 00:54:45:13 - 00:55:10:06 Kay But the other thing is that if somebody knocks on your door tomorrow and says I'm ADHD or I'm on the spectrum and I need special accommodations, neurodiversity is considered a disability, we don't like to talk about it in that terms because we believe that it doesn’t have to be a disability, but it is technically considered a disability, which means that therefore it is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. 00:55:10:14 - 00:55:40:03 Kay And so if somebody knocked on your door and said that you would be legally obligated to make accommodations for them. And it's not a matter of when you hire somebody that's neurodiverse. One in seven people are neurodiverse they're probably just masking it and pretending that they're not. And quite frankly, if they're in an older individual, they may not even know because 85 to 90% of adults that have ADHD were never officially diagnosed. 00:55:40:10 - 00:56:08:13 Kay And so they're just masking and suffering. And so if you think about a lot of your discipline problems, challenges that you might have might be with individuals, who you just aren't creating the appropriate environment for. And so it's having this huge impact. And then if you think about it, if we lose an employee. The cost if we hire or we train somebody else is significant. 00:56:08:13 - 00:56:31:18 Anthony Yeah, and I and I, I agree on the masking. I do that for, for a number of years. I got good at it obviously. But I mean I'm sure most people that have listened and watched this conversation over the past hour are floored at some of the things that we are able to do for the Neurodiverse community. 00:56:32:12 - 00:57:00:12 Anthony I mean, unfortunately, our time here today is over. [slide displays A CAI Webinar: Neurodiversity, architecture, and universal design. Thank you for attending! To learn more, visit www.cai.io/neurodiverse-solutions.] We could talk forever, obviously. But I'd like to thank both of you, Kay and Rosa, for joining us today and sharing your insight with all of us. It's been an absolute pleasure chatting with you both. And I also like to thank the audience for your attention and participation. Later, we're going to be sending everyone that attended a recording of this event to share with your colleagues or peers. 00:57:00:21 - 00:57:26:08 Anthony And in the meantime, if you're interested in learning more about CAI Neurodiverse Solutions or know someone that is, visit our website at cai.io and fill out our contact form. I'd like to thank you all for joining us today and I hope you have a great rest of your day.


Skip past transcript

Contact us

Want to learn more about CAI Neurodiverse Solutions? We’d love to talk.

All fields marked with * are required.

Please correct all errors below.
Please agree to our terms and conditions to continue.

For information about our collection and use of your personal information, our privacy and security practices and your data protection rights, please see our privacy policy and corresponding cookie policy.