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Student Showcase Archive

Design.Neuro: A panel of neurodivergent creatives discuss their work and the future of neurodivergence and design

7 February 2022 | 2pm – 3pm



In celebration of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design's 30th anniversary this session will reflect on how neurodivergent related projects have grown and evolved at the centre and what the future holds within this space. The session brings together four neurodivergent creatives to discuss what neurodivergence means, and to consider the key opportunities and challenges of neurodivergent-led design.


Jon Adams, Creative Director of Flow Observatorium 

Jon is both a contemporary Artist, working cross-platform, in image, poetry, sound, performance, and spoken word, and a Neurodivergent advocate and researcher. He makes a variety of work in many differing media often referencing synaesthesia, autism, dyslexia, autobiography, science, and hidden metaphor resulting in unique visual perspectives of systemizing history, time, and place. He has shown in galleries such as Royal Academy, Tate Modern and been commissioned by many arts and science organisations including projects for Parliament, London 2012 and on stage. He advocates for the rights of Neurodivergent people to fully access the arts, funding, health care and relevant research. 

Dr Katie Gaudion, Senior Research Associate HHCD

Katie is a designer whose work celebrates neuro-diversity and whose research explores how design can improve living environments for autistic adults.

Katie is a Design Researcher and has spent over 14 years working with neurodivergent people, who may have a unique way of thinking and experiencing the world. Her research largely investigates how design can improve the physical environment for autistic people. Katie develops tools that connect, communicate and engage with autistic people and their support network, to enable them to be active participants in the design research.

Emily Öhlund , PhD Candidate, RCA

Emily Öhlund is a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art with a creative background in the applied arts. Her research explores dyspraxia in the context of art and design with a focus on higher education, the built environment, sensory experience and inclusion. She has spoken at conferences internationally calling for inclusive practices within higher art education, incorporating accessible design in built environments, and creating awareness of the untapped abilities inherent to neurodivergent creatives.

Dr William Renel, Research Associate HHCD

Dr Renel’s practice emerges at the junctions between inclusive design and critical disability studies. He is a member of Heart n Soul at the Hub – an interdisciplinary disabled-led research team investigating how relationships between people with and without learning disabilities affect mutual wellbeing as well as the Director of Research at community interest company Touretteshero.

Natasha Trotman, MA(RCA), FRSA, MCSD

Natasha is an Equalities Designer and Researcher whose practice explores extending the frontiers of knowledge around mental difference, which includes non-typical ways of being, marginalised experiences in addition to also reframing mainstream notions of equality, equity, diversity, and inclusion. This is done via an intersectional design lens; involving the forming of physical interactions through investigative play and policy  design. A Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, member of the Chartered Society of Designers, member of the Institute of Equality, Diversity Practitioners (MIEDP) as well as an active committee member of the Royal Society of Arts Decolonizing Design Coalition. Natasha is currently, an artist in residence at Somerset House’s studio 48, consultant for Wellcome, sitting on the WCIT Advisory panel and a Design Expert specialist for the Design Council. Natasha has been selected as a 10×10 emerging Artist by the British council and Named on the Shaw Trust Powerlist Top 100 Influential Disabled People 2019 & 2020.