|M.Sc Student||Kay Zivia|
|Subject||Development and Design of an Occupational Therapy Model for|
the Improvement of Social Skills with Special
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Ron Nabarro|
The background for this thesis is the search for a way to use product design to answer social needs, examining the conditions in which it is possible to develop an occupational therapy model for the special-needs population. The model is designed to be used as a guideline for determining visual preferences and for the organization of spatial order in therapeutic environments designed to increase the range of social skills of the users.
The research hypotheses are based on theoretical and practical determinations according to which a person’s functioning increases under preferred environmental conditions (Toglia, 1993).
The main Research question formulated for the basis of this thesis was:
Stages of research and development were held at the Moriah Home for the special needs population, amongst a group of adults aged 21 to 28.
The aim of the development and design stage was to define a visual code to be activated by two users that have no common cultural or social referential basis
Subsequent to the aims a physical three dimensional model was built for two users that implemented the conclusions of the exploratory research.
The research and development process led to the conclusions that the occupational therapy model for the improvement of social skills with special needs population, needs to include the following principals: