Studio news

Designing for neurodiversity

Mix Interiors

The workplace has become a more accessible environment than ever, but there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of designing for a neurodiverse workforce. Mix Interiors chatted to Franky about how our approach works.
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Simply put, neurodiversity is the diversity of our brains: an immeasurable variation of the way our brains function and react across a massive spectrum. Most people are neurotypical, with an estimated 15% of the UK population considered neurodivergent. Neurodivergent people face multiple challenges within the workplace – from sensory stimulation and distractions to wayfinding within a large space.

Simply put, neurodiversity is the diversity of our brains: an immeasurable variation of the way our brains function and react across a massive spectrum.

Most people are neurotypical, with an estimated 15% of the UK population considered neurodivergent. Neurodivergent people face multiple challenges within the workplace – from sensory stimulation and distractions to wayfinding within a large space.

According to CIPD, one in ten organisations are now focusing on diversity at work, and by doing so can create better workplaces for all by understanding the nuances of our neurological differences. Alongside the collaborative and flexible successes of the fabulous open plan offices we have visited over the years, there are also downsides – from a colleague’s loud phone call to garish lights and even smells. For many of us this is a small annoyance but, to a large minority of the workforce, this is an impossible obstacle that directly affects their ability to work.

matillion office

Jolie Studio is no stranger to the role design can play in creating a diverse and inclusive environment that can benefit an organisation’s entire workforce.

Franky studied Architectural Technology in Bristol before making the move to Manchester; attracted by the thriving industry and growing prospects of the city, she took on the role of Head of Design at Bruntwood at just 23 years old. She realised that her aim was to change the face of the typical interior design offering and take a more thoughtful approach to interiors. In 2018, Jolie Studio was born from a desire to move away from a traditional, trend-driven aesthetic approach and towards a more fully embodied, human-centred and multi-sensory experience.

‘In previous roles I met a lot of different customers and business types – and they would all say the same thing – ‘We’ve spent thousands of pounds on fit-out work, directed by the designer on what to choose and how to do it. But, six months down the line, after the initial success of the launch, the honeymoon phase had worn off and people were starting to moan. The space doesn’t feel authentic to their business and hasn’t actually done anything to help it apart from please people in the short term.’

We spoke with Chloe at Mix Interiors, who put this article together for the October issue 206 of Mix Interiors.

You can read the full article here

written by
Michelle Hill

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