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Jane Elizabeth Bennett

Jane Bennett portrait

Areas of interest

Built Environment, Universal Design, Autism, Research Ethics, Creative Research Methods

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Carolina Vasilikou, Manchester School of Architecture

Dr Izabela Wieczorek, School of the Built Environment

Professor Kathy Pain, Henley Business School

Research centres and groups

Urban Living Research Group

Research projects

How can autistic women’s complex embodied experience of the built environment be codified through a perceptual model of way finding?

How do autistic women appropriate public space? Does the design of the built environment impact access? How can researchers adequately capture and analyse the autistic female experiences of external architecture? My PhD engages with these three key questions. Funded by SeNSS, this project is located within the Department of Architecture with a critical focus on Human Geography. The literature suggests that the urban landscapes may negatively impact autistic women's mental health, leaving them vulnerable to isolation and exclusion. In response, my research asks, ‘How can autistic women’s complex embodied experience of the built environment be codified through a perceptual model of wayfinding?

Published paper

‘Auto-photography and Collaborative Drawing: How Can Autistic Researchers Foster Inclusion Through Method Selection and Development to Investigate the Design of the Built Environment?’


Jane Elizabeth Bennett is a PhD candidate based within the School of Architecture at the University of Reading. Investigating how autistic women experience the built environment, specifically external architecture. She has been awarded a 4+ Human Geography Scholarship by SeNSS (2021), a doctoral training partnership funded by the ESRC. Completing her master’s degree (Distinction) in Site and Archive Intervention (2013) at the University of Central Lancashire, she works part-time as a Specialist Printmaking Technician. Bennett has subsequently been awarded grants by the Creative Practice Research Academy (2022) and has exhibited artwork nationally and internationally. Drawing on her creative roots Bennett engages with creative research methods and is developing autism-specific embodied methods that facilitate non/less verbal modes of communication.


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