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WIA Coffee and Connect with Rachel Updegrove
Friday 22 Sep 2023
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
22 Sep 2023
Hi Everyone! Enjoy your morning brew with us on Friday, September 22nd at 9am!
It's now pumpkin spice season so grab your favorite fall drink and meet us online to hear from Rachel Updegrove, laboratory planner at HERA and neurodiversity advocate.
Rachel Updegrove graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from Thomas Jefferson in 2019, with a minor in landscape design and custom minor in community health advocacy. Her neurodiversity journey began her freshman year of college with a diagnosis with OCD, and then with an ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis a few months after graduating college. As a late-diagnosed autistic, she openly shares her journey and experiences as a neurodivergent woman so that no one feels alone and to remove stereotypes around autism, ADHD, and OCD. Rachel advocates for herself and autistic/neurodivergent people, as they are often not included in neurodiversity built environment discussions or workshops. Identifying as an “other” to autistic stereotypes, she encourages designers to look beyond the binary spectrum (hypersensitive and hyposensitive) and sensory experience, and rather look at the dynamic daily life of autistic/neurodivergent people and the impacts of sensory experiences on communication. This summer she co-presented a visual essay with peer, Shannon McLain, at the UIA World Congress of Architects Conference in Copenhagen. Their visual essay is entitled, “Our Neurodivergent Narratives: Visual Storytelling Through a Prototypical Design Framework”. In 2021, she was featured in Magda Mostafa’s exhibition entitled “Autistic Imaginaries of Architecture Space: The World through an Autistic Lens” at the European Cultural Centre in conjunction with the Venice Biennale.